Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Alyssa Erdley
News with Attitude 

Masks Off for Fully Vaccinated Persons - But Only in Certain Limited Situations says Los Angeles County Health Department

Worst marketing job ever! Government officials need to realize that some tangible and significant benefit must accrue to getting vaccinated

 

The Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines regarding masks, distinguishing between people who are vaccinated and those who are not. The Los Angeles County Health Department has reluctantly agreed to align with the new guidelines.

Revealing that the government is as godawful at marketing as they are at producing, distributing, and creating, the federal agency recommended vaccinated people still wear masks in outdoor settings where 6 feet of distance can not be observed between individuals. They should also wear masks at large events and indoor gatherings where unvaccinated people may be present.

If these are the rules, it is no mystery why over half of the county has not yet shown up to receive a free vaccination. Appointments are not even necessary this week at the county's mass vaccination sites. While millions are hesitating to get that first shot, hundreds of thousands have not shown up for their second shot.

Government officials need to realize that some tangible and significant benefit must accrue to getting vaccinated, particularly for young people who are not at great risk from the Covid-19 virus. The vaccine is not officially approved for use, and this gives some reasonable pause regarding its safety. No long-range studies have been conducted on this powerful agent, for obvious reasons. But young people can expect to live many years after getting the vaccine injection.

Below is the press release from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:

Los Angeles County will be adjusting our Health Officer Order shortly to align with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on when and where people need to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC new recommendations support the continued need for everyone, including those fully vaccinated, to wear masks while in crowds where 6-feet of distance from other persons is not possible, while at large events and gatherings, and in indoor settings where unvaccinated people may be present. Because COVID-19 can still easily spread, unvaccinated people, who remain at highest risk of becoming infected, need to continue wearing masks in all settings where they are around people not in their household.

While these changes are appropriate and science-based, they can create unintended risk if individuals not yet fully vaccinated discontinue wearing their masks in situations where they may become infected. More than 50% of the people living in Los Angeles County are not yet fully vaccinated and intermingling with others who are not vaccinated and unmasked increases the possibility of virus transmission. Given the continued threat of variants, masking and distancing are essential protections for those not yet vaccinated. The only safe way for us to enjoy more activities without masking and distancing, is for everyone eligible to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can. This week, people 16 and older living or working in Los Angeles can just show up at a County-run site during operating hours to get vaccinated.

The County will modify the Health Officer Order to reflect these changes and provide guidance on additional activities and settings this week.

 

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