LA County Will Avoid the Mask Mandate – Los Angeles

Los Angeles County’s admission rates for COVID-19-positive patients have slowed. This has pushed back the date when an indoor mask-wearing requirement might be reinstated. A health official stated Thursday that such a move could be avoided if admission numbers continue to fall.

Chief science officer of the county Department of Public Health Dr. Paul Simon stated that the rate of COVID-positive patients is beginning to slow down. Simon reported that the average daily number of hospital admissions for people with the virus in the county is currently 84. This is only a slight difference from the previous week’s 83.

In the last week, hospital admissions were at 7.3 per 100,000 people. This rate was unchanged from the previous week, ending the steady trend of rises that have raised concerns about a mandatory universal indoor mask in the county.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s metrics, the county would move towards the “medium” category of virus activity to the “If the rate of hospital admissions exceeds 10 per 100,000 residents, it is considered high”. If the county is at the high level for more than two weeks, an indoor mask mandate may be implemented.

County health officials predicted previously that at the existing rate of increase, county would reach “high” category by the end of the June or early July. But with the pace now slowing, Simon said the current projection is that the county won’t reach the “High” category at least until mid-July

He said that the county could not reach that level if the virus transmission slows down, which would lead to a drop in hospitalizations.

Despite the fact that virus transmission remains high in the county, the number of new infections within the county has started to decline. Simon reported that the current rate is 4,400 new cases per day. This is a 6 percent drop over the week before.

These cases are however likely to be artificially low as many people rely upon COVID tests taken at home. The results of these tests are not always reported back to the county so they are not included in the official total.

Simon thanked residents for taking infection control measures, including wearing masks even if they didn’t have to. Simon stated that such personal actions have an impact on the overall infection rate.

“I know the public is getting very fatigued with our repeated messaging, but it is so important — to the greatest degree possible, be strategic,” he said. “You should wear the mask if you are in an environment where there is a greater risk of spreading the virus.

On Thursday, the county received another 5,621 COVID infection. This brings the total number of infections to 3,082,401 since the beginning of the pandemic. The death toll in the area rose to 32,283 from 12 additional virus-related deaths.

On Thursday, the average daily rate of people being tested positive for the disease was 11.6%. This is likely to be due to the dramatic drop in testing done daily since the summer break, when schools are not in session.

According to state statistics, 688 COVID positive patients were in county hospitals on Thursday. This was up from 679 on Wednesday. There were 69 patients admitted to intensive care on Thursday, compared with 67 a day prior.

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