Los Angeles reinstates masks to stem rise in COVID-19 cases
In the last week, the number of COVID-19 cases increased among non-vaccinated persons in Los Angeles County.
As of this Saturday, July 17, Los Angeles has reverted to the use of facemasks in enclosed spaces, regardless of the vaccination status of those present. With the measure, health authorities hope that recent increases in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the county can be reversed.
The increase in COVID-19 cases is primarily due to the highly-transmissible delta variant.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis warned that the increase in infections has been among people who have not yet been vaccinated.
"I'm not pleased that we're going to have to go back to using masks, but it's going to save lives. And right now for me that's the most important thing," Solis told the This Week.
On June 15, California fully reopened all economic sectors, and left behind the restrictions and limitations that have been taken due to the health crisis. However, the decision was reversed with the steady increase in infections in recent weeks. Returning are the protocols of social distancing and the use of masks in public spaces, regardless of whether or not people are vaccinated.
Counties such as Sacramento and Yolo urged residents and visitors to wear masks indoors, but not on a mandatory basis. On Sunday, July 18, Los Angeles County reported 1.635 cases, the tenth consecutive day with more than 1,000 infections. In addition, more than 525 people were hospitalized on Saturday with COVID-19, while four new deaths related to the virus were reported on Sunday.
"The level of COVID-19 transmission we are experiencing is causing significant increases in severe illness and hospitalizations, and compels us to take immediate action to prevent erosion of our recovery efforts," said Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director.
Despite the alarm over the rising wave of cases, no county has opted to make the measure mandatory, instead appealing to the social responsibility of county residents and visitors to abide by the restrictions.