Los Angeles is Headed for another Covid Related Mask Mandate
Will the rest of California follow?
Los Angeles has been an unfortunate city of a Covid resurgence with growing cases and hospitalizations day-to-day. The city is set to become the first California county to reinstate mandatory public indoor masking. Just one year ago, Los Angeles was facing the same situation to combat another surge of Delta variant cases. Eventually, areas such as Ventura, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, and San Francisco would follow the lead of Los Angeles.
By the end of the month, assuming conditions do not clear up, Los Angeles will once again find itself in the predicament of sitting on the balance of implementing an indoor mask mandate.
The CDC recommends universal indoor public masking for those two years and older when a county enters the situation of being considered high Covid community level. Los Angeles County health officials set the label of being a high community level just yesterday and it is said to be staying that way for at least two weeks. Indoor mask mandates will be effective July 29th.
There have been no other California cities or counties that have publicly tied its placement on the CDC community level scale to a renewal of mask mandates. Outside of Los Angeles however, there are 41 other counties in the high level this week. Most places have proceeded with cautions by recommending masks in indoor areas, not requiring them.
“We are seeing a summer wave in cases and hospitalizations, and this move to the ‘high’ transmission level confirms that. To protect those at high risk, we are recommending that OC residents continue masking in public, indoor settings, especially those who are at high risk or living with loved ones who have comorbidities, are immunocompromised, or are prone to getting sick.”
Dr. Clayton Chau, the director of the OC Health Care Agency, said.
Due to the overcrowding of the Los Angeles area, the high spread rate of Covid is far worse in the county than in many other areas in the United States. Los Angeles also has a very high rate of poverty. This leads to many opportunities for spread as well as many being hospitalized by Covid or even dying from it. Those living off of lower wages also provide for necessary sectors such as food production, tourism, and hospitality. All of which provide another risk of spreading the virus.
In very simple terms, if another wave of Covid hits Los Angeles, it may be one that hits disproportionately harder than other places in the United States.
“Families with fewer resources are more likely to have more exposures at work, live in crowded conditions, and have one or more chronic health conditions compared to those with more resources. This places individuals at a higher risk of suffering the severe effects of COVID. Since vaccination alone is not sufficient to erase the troubling inequities we see, additional efforts are needed to protect those at greatest risk.”
Barbara Ferrer, the County Public Health Director, said during a briefing.