The Los Angeles County Health Department could push for an indoor mask mandate in the coming weeks.
Positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising at a significant rate, and Los Angeles County has recently moved from low to medium risk. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says if the area reaches the CDC’s “high” transmission and hospitalization categories, a mask mandate will most likely be imposed.
In a press conference, she said, “Given both the increases in hospitalizations and the lack of certainty in the winter trajectory for COVID-19, continuing some common-sense mitigation strategies that we know work to limit transmission and illness, including masking and being up to date on vaccines and boosters, remains a very sensible approach.”
The seven-day average case count rose 44 percent from the prior week, and hospitalizations climbed 39 percent. On Friday, Dec 2, the county reported over 4,500 new cases, 1,100 hospitalizations, and 14 new deaths. This comes weeks after the Health Department recommended indoor masking as the holidays approach.
If the daily count reaches 200 positive cases per 100,000 residents, Los Angeles County would most likely be considered “high.” Currently, the Los Angeles County weekly rate is 185 per 100,000.
But some restaurant workers wouldn’t mind if their customers had to wear masks. “I’m very for masking,” said restaurant worker Katelyn Woolcott. “Because I personally get every single sickness that comes through the market. Regardless of COVID or the flu or cold, it’s gross. People get too close to my face.”
With life generally back to normal, it’s hard to know how Angelenos will react to a mask mandate. The last mandate for California was lifted Feb 15, and for most, Covid isn’t a concern like it was two years ago.
“I feel like all of Los Angeles kind of collectively got over masks,” remarked Los Angeles resident Will Borges. “It just felt like a weird thing where suddenly no one was wearing them anymore, and no one cared anymore.”