Title: Mask-Wearing Requirement Reinstated in Los Angeles County Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases
Subtitle: Precautionary measures put in place to combat increasing hospitalizations and deaths
LA COUNTY – In response to a surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, Los Angeles County has reinstated the compulsory wearing of masks in all licensed healthcare facilities. The decision was made as the county reached the “medium” level of COVID-19 hospital admissions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC has reported a concerning rate of 10.5 new COVID hospital admissions per 100,000 people in Los Angeles County for the week ending December 23. To prioritize the safety of both staff and visitors, all healthcare personnel, regardless of vaccination status, are now required to wear masks when interacting with patients or working in patient-care areas.
Furthermore, visitors to licensed healthcare facilities providing inpatient care are also obligated to wear masks. These measures will remain in effect until the COVID-19 hospital admission level in Los Angeles County falls below the CDC’s Medium Level for a continuous period of 14 days.
As of December 23, LA County hospitals were accommodating 609 COVID-positive patients, which signifies an increase compared to the 259 patients reported on November 1 last year. However, it is important to note that this number is still lower than the previous year’s figures. Unfortunately, the daily average of COVID-19 cases in the county has surged by over 25% since last week, highlighting the urgency of the situation.
Similarly, the number of reported COVID-related deaths has seen a significant upward trend, reaching an alarming daily average of five deaths. Health authorities have highlighted that individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension, are at higher risk of a severe outcome if they contract COVID-19.
The surge in transmission is believed to be driven by the emergence of new COVID-19 strains, including the variant JN.1, within the boundaries of Los Angeles County. Although JN.1 does not appear to result in more severe cases of COVID-19, its presence adds another layer of concern to the already burdened healthcare system.
In light of the evolving situation, health experts are strongly recommending several preventive measures. Frequent handwashing, use of hand sanitizers, and wearing masks in crowded indoor or poorly ventilated spaces are among the top recommendations. Additionally, individuals experiencing any symptoms of illness are urged to stay home, reducing the risk of further spread.
As Los Angeles County battles against the surge in COVID-19 cases, the enforcement of masks in healthcare settings aims to safeguard the vulnerable population and mitigate the strain on the healthcare system. It is important for residents and visitors to remain vigilant and adhere to recommended safety guidelines to minimize the impact of this dangerous virus.