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By Alyssa Erdley
Observer Staff 

Los Angeles County Predicted to Require Indoor Masks After Mid-July

The date is a projection of when Covid hospitalizations will cross past 10 per 100,000 people

 

Dr. Paul Simon, Chief Science Officer, hosted the media briefing usually hosted by LADPH Director Barbara Ferrer

June 23, 2022 - At a media briefing this afternoon, Dr. Paul Simon, the County Health Department's Chief Science Officer, pushed back the prediction for when transmission will reach the point of triggering new indoor mask mandates.

Last week, the county had predicted that the 7-day cumulative hospitalization admission rate would exceed 10 per 100,000 people around June 30. Should hospital admission rate remain higher than that for two consecutive weeks, the health department would issue an order requiring masks be worn in all public indoor settings.

Projected date for hospitalizations to cross the threshold of 10 per 100k residents

But this week, the hospital admission rate had plateaued. Now the current prediction for a trigger of indoor masks would be two weeks following July 12.

Dr. Simon couched this prediction in language regarding the unknown conditions that might occur that could change the projected date.

The indoor mask mandate, if instituted again, would not be removed until the county returned to a "medium" community level for two consecutive weeks.

Dr. Simon pointed to the rise in the number of BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant and reported that research shows these two sublineages appear to have the ability to reinfect people who have already contracted earlier Omicron subvariants. As far as he knows, these two subvariants do not cause more serious disease than previous versions of Omicron that have swept through the area. "But we're learning as we go here," he warned.

 

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