Indoor Masks Coming Back to Los Angeles County July 29, by All Indications
After crossing the threshold of more than 10 Covid-positive hospital admissions per 100,000 residents, the county moves into "high" transmission level
July 20, 2022
July 14, 2022 - Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health for Los Angeles County, says they will impose a universal indoor mask mandate for public spaces starting July 29. She thinks it highly unlikely the county will reverse course and the number of Covid-19-positive hospital patients will decrease given a steady increase in the number of infections. Today, the county moved into a "high" level of transmission per guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, with more than 10 Covid-positive hospital admissions per day per 100,000 residents. If the county remains above this number of daily hospital admissions for two consecutive weeks, which would be July 28, the mask mandate will be imposed starting July 29.
Surrounding counties have already reached a "high" level of transmission but have chosen not to reimpose mask mandates.
Ferrer pointed to the disproportionate effect of the virus on low-income communities, essential workers, and among the elderly in skilled nursing facilities as rationales for imposing a universal indoor mask mandate. The bulk of her media briefing today was clearly intended to provide the rationale for what is seen as a highly unpopular move to reinstate mask requirements after nearly two years of such a mandate that was only relaxed a few months ago.
"The most vulnerable are often disproportionately affected," Ferrer said at the briefing. She claimed that Covid-19 is still the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County, but she did not add exactly how Covid-19 deaths are calculated.
Ferrer insisted that masks reduce transmission, and showed a diagram of virus particles trapped inside a mask. She did not provide any data proving mask mandates have ever changed the rate of transmission in the county although she did show a graph of the various Covid-19 surges, the most recent of which over January, 2022, showed a very steep rate of transmission despite the universal mask mandate in place at the time.
Ferrer said it is highly unlikely she will issue any health orders that would again prevent gathering or shut down businesses. "We have really good tools," she said.