Los Angeles County remains on pace to enter the “high” COVID-19 activity level as early as Thursday, July 14, the public health director said Tuesday, and absent a major reversal in virus-related hospitalizations, an indoor mask-wearing mandate will be imposed two weeks later.
The county is already in the “medium” COVID level as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on the elevated rate of people being infected with the virus. If the county’s rate of daily COVID- positive patients being admitted to area hospitals tops 10 per 100,000 residents, it will enter the “high” category. As of Tuesday, July 12, that rate was at 8.8 per 100,000 residents.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, echoing projections she gave last week, told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that she expects the county to enter the “high” activity category within days.
“Given the continued increase, we do anticipate by this Thursday the county will move into that high level,” Ferrer said.
If the county remains in the “high” category for two consecutive weeks, a mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate will be imposed, Ferrer said. Under the current pace, that mandate will take effect by July 29.
“I do recognize that when we return to universal indoor masking to reduce high spread, for many this will feel like a step backwards,” Ferrer said. But she said universal masking “makes a lot of sense because it helps us to reduce risk.”
Ferrer again pointed to recent studies showing dramatic reduction in infection risk for people who wear face coverings, particularly for people who wear higher-grade masks, such as N95 or KN95 masks. Masks are already still mandated in some indoor spaces — health care facilities, transit hubs, on transit vehicles, airports, correctional facilities and shelters. A universal mandate would spread the requirement to all indoor public spaces, including shared office spaces, manufacturing facilities, retail stores, indoor events, indoor restaurants and bars and schools.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger urged Ferrer and health officials to conduct outreach to local businesses to discuss the impacts they could face, “especially when surrounding counties are not considering” a mandate. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl again forcefully backed the idea of requiring masks, saying she has “no patience” for people who won’t wear them.
“People are just not wearing them when they’re not mandated,” Kuehl said.
According to state figures, there were 1,153 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, and increase from 1,014 on Saturday. Of those patients, 115 were being treated in intensive care units. On Monday, the county reported 18,158 new COVID-19 infections over a three-day period, while also recording 39 new deaths.
The new infections recorded between Saturday and Monday lifted the county’s cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 3,178,242. County officials noted that the number of new cases could be low due to delays in reporting from some labs over the weekend. The county no longer reports COVID numbers on weekends.
Health officials have also warned that the actual number of new infections occurring in the county is not fully reflected in the daily numbers, since many people now rely on at-home tests, the results of which are not always reported to the county. The 39 new virus-related deaths reported Monday lifted the overall death toll in the county to 32,451. Health officials have said that a majority of the deaths occurred in people with at least one underlying health condition, mainly hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 14.8% as of Monday.
16 comments for "Stock up on masks: Indoor face-covering mandate appears imminent in LA County"
Dems election strategy says
Common folks we got an election around the corner, let’s get this thing on a roll. Ballots will be mailed to all!
”Barbara Ferrer ” is at it again, she’s not even a Doctor.. She’s an ”UN-ELECTED BUREAUCRAT” who makes her ”ONE SIZE FITS ALL” diagnosis for every City in L.A. County.. The first time this happened, an UNDERGROUND ECONOMY” was born.. Businesses suffered a lot & many went ”OUT OF BUSINESS”… NO ONE is going to do this drill over again! The Economy is in TATTERS & we can blame this all on the ”POWERFUL BOARD OF SUPERVISORS”… The LIBERAL SUPERVISORS are all for ”Masks” even on Toddlers & Lock-Downs! WHERE’S THE DATA???
Tim Scott says
The data is readily available and has been presented many times. Since you have clearly ignored it what would be the point of presenting it again?
We’re more than 2.5 years into this. Wear a mask if you want. Get vaccinated if you want. However, stop mandating stuff. I’m not going to wear my mask.
Tim Scott says
Cool. Stay home.
Don’t push your lifestyle on others, lol
Tim Scott says
Not my lifestyle: I just put on a mask and go where I want.
Thanks for doing us that favor, lol
I FEEL THAT IF EVERYONE WOULD ONLY FOLLOW OUR ELECTED LEADER’S ADVICE AND…
SING HAPPY BIRTHDAY WHILE WE WASH OUR HANDS…
THEN EVERYTHING WOULD BE OKAY…
AND WE COULD ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER…
Disgruntled American says
Must be time to go to the polls for voting. I WILL NOT COMPLY.
Haven’t Had COVID yet says
I’m happy to wear my mask to protect not only myself but others, especially those that are immune compromised. I have still continued wearing my mask even when it isn’t mandated and I’m fully vaxed. I believe as a citizen my rights stop at the other person’s nose, so to speak. In order to live in a society sometimes you need to do something that you might not feel like doing – to protect others. Much like vaccinating children to attend school or wearing a seatbelt or not driving drunk/high or obeying traffic signals.
Tim Scott says
mesh mask says
So it’s going to be like LAX? Los Angeles kept the mask mandate in the airports but 75% of the passengers were walking around mask-less. So what happens when a person walks in a store without one on and no one says anything? As long as the employees are masked the store is covered. Of course you can hire a whole bunch of ‘health inspectors’ like that dancing idiot that tried to shut down Bravery Brewery illegally.
Get over it already! says
Oh please! Its already been proven that the cloth mask that’ they require doesn’t prevent Covid. Just a way of control. Not much else to expect from a nanny state.
Masks work says
Actually – the opposite was proven. Cloth masks were shown to reduce infections in business environments. When contact tracing the thing, clusters from businesses highly correlated to LACK of mask use.
Tests of particulate filtering were demonstrated in the lab as well.