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Delta Variant Infection Rates Bring Back Mask Requirements
By Brian W. Carter, Contributing Writer
Published July 22, 2021

As Delta variant infection rates rise, so do the calls for masking and vaccinations. Getty Images

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is requiring a mask to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status, for L.A. County. As Delta variant infection rates rise, so do the calls for masking and vaccinations. Public Health is making sure worksites and businesses are staying in compliance with their regulations.

“L.A. County continues to see alarming trends of increased community spread,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “The spread of the more infectious Delta variant through intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown has caused a rapid spread of COVID-19 that is resulting in a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations.”

She continued, “By wearing masks indoors at public places and worksites, we can get back to slowing the spread of the virus. Many businesses and worksites are doing their part by posting signs and asking employees and customers to mask up while indoors.”

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Public Health reports there are almost 4 million people in L.A. County who have not been or are not eligible to be vaccinated, which includes 1.3 million children under 12 years of age. Masking for everyone while indoors went in to effect on Saturday at 11:59 p.m. in all indoor public places: offices, retail, restaurants, gyms, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, and state and local government offices serving the public. Public Health inspectors continue to visit sites regularly to ensure compliance with Cal/OSHA standards and the Health Officer Order, and also respond to complaints of non-compliance.

As of Monday, July 19, Public Health reported two new deaths but stated 1,233 new cases of COVID-19. There were 528 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 with 16% of nearly 7,182,000 individuals testing positive with symptoms.

Public Health identified 1,269,090 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,585 deaths. Cases across the Southland: Los Angeles County shows 1,203,188 cases, Long Beach with 54,395 cases and Pasadena with 11,507 cases.

According to race and ethnicity, COVID-19 statistics show: American Indian/Alaska Native with 2,045; Asian with 57,660; Black with 50,172; Hispanic/Latino with 640,229; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander with 4,330; White with 135,034; those of other race and ethnicity with 101,709 and 212,009 under investigation.

“Please do you part and cooperate,” said Ferrar. “If you are not yet vaccinated, please know that we need you to take extra precautions. Since vaccines remain the most powerful tool for reducing spread, now is the time to get your vaccine. We need to bring down transmission rates so that when schools open next month, there is much less risk.”

For more detailed information on COVID-19 vaccination plans in L.A. County and to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com

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For more information and statistics on COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, please visit http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

*Los Angeles County Department of Public Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/

*California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.html Spanish https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html

*World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

*LA County residents can also call 2-1-1

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