Los Angeles County Sets Criteria To Lift Mandate For Masks In Indoor Public Spaces

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Los Angeles Public Health calls for 3 weeks of “moderate” transmission, complete vaccination of 80% of residents of eligible age and decrease in infections and hospitalizations

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health established on Tuesday the criteria that must be met to lift the mandate for the use of masks to prevent COVID-19 infections.

Before the Board of Supervisors, the director of the department, Bárbara Ferrer, explained that a list of requirements has been developed that the county must meet before deciding to lift the order to use the masks for large outdoor events and in spaces in indoors, such as workplaces.

Los Angeles County has maintained strict requirements for the use of face masks despite the increase in the number of vaccinated residents and the decrease in the numbers of new infections and hospitalizations due to the coronavirus.

Among the criteria that must be met, the county must record three consecutive weeks of “moderate” transmission of the disease, according to the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States.

That means the county must have a cumulative new infection rate of less than 50 per 100,000 residents in a 7-day period. According to the CDC, the county’s current rate is 83 per 100,000 residents, in a “substantial” category of community transmission, while Ferrer said a rate of 72 was recorded last week.

Necessary, 80% of residents vaccinated

Another item that must be met is to have three consecutive weeks of decline in the numbers of hospitalizations for coronavirus, a complete vaccination rate of 80% of residents over12 years of age and no emerging report of “worrisome variants” of the SARS CoV-2 virus. , which could trigger new outbreaks of infections.

To lift the ordinance in indoor public spaces for less than 1,000 people, including workplaces, the same criteria must be met, in addition that such environments must have a vaccination verification system, and all employees and customers must be fully immunized to the disease, with other requirements for people who have duly approved vaccine exemptions.

Currently, Los Angeles County has a decline in hospitalizations for COVID-19 after a sudden spike during the summer, mainly due to the Delta variant of the virus, reaching 1,800 patients. This Tuesday, the department reported that 653 people are hospitalized.

Director Ferrer expressed her confidence that 80% of residents over 12 years of age will be fully vaccinated by the winter holidays.

As of October 28, the percentage of residents older than 12 years fully vaccinated was 72%, and 80% had already received at least one dose.

Meanwhile, take care

The head of the county Department of Public Health indicated that, while community transmission is “substantial”, the use of masks should continue, especially since a significant spread of the virus affects more unvaccinated people.

By November 4, Los Angeles County business workers operating in indoor public spaces, such as bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges, must be fully vaccinated.

Barbara Ferrer warned that the county has seen an increase in infection and hospitalization rates in the past week, reflecting trends seen in other California counties, as well as places like the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.