Masks are a thing of the past in much of America, with a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showing that 66% of people say their lives are “completely” or “somewhat” the same as before the pandemic.
That could soon change in L.A. County, however, as Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer recently announced that rules requiring indoor mask use could be on the way back.
L.A. County once again has a “high COVID community level”
According to ABC 7, Ferrer made the announcement during a virtual public health meeting that was conducted on Thursday.
“We do continue to track the impact on the pandemic on L.A. County using the CDC’s COVID-19 community levels framework, which is a measure of the strain on our healthcare system caused by COVID-19,” Ferrer said.
“The community level’s framework utilizes one case rate metric and two hospitalization metrics,” the public health official continued.
“As of today, we have moved from the medium to the high COVID community level,” Ferrer explained. “The first metric is our seven-day case rate, which is currently at 370 cases per week per 100,000 people.”
“The first of the two hospital metrics is the seven-day total of new hospital admissions per 100,000,” she went on to add.
“Using LA County specific data, we’re at 10.5 admission per 100,000 people,” Ferrer noted. She points out how that number represents “an 88% increase compared on month ago.”
“Since this metric has moved above 10 per week per 100,000 people, we’ve moved into the high community level,” the county public health director acknowledged.
Public health officials say compulsory indoor masking could resume by July 29
She then went on to address the second hospital metric, stating that it is comprised of “the seven-day average for the proportion of staffed in-patient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.”
“Currently, 5.4% of beds are occupied by COVID patients in LA County. This is an increase of 84% compared to one month ago,” Ferrer said.
She concluded by declaring, “As I’ve mentioned in past briefings, if we remain in the high COVID-19 level for two consecutive weeks, that would be through July 28, we would implement a universal indoor masking on July 29 to help slow the rate of transmission and protect those most vulnerable.”