LA County again requiring masks indoors starting Saturday

California

(KTLA) — Los Angeles County is reimplementing its mask mandate indoors — regardless of vaccination status — amid an increase in coronavirus case numbers and concerns over the delta variant, officials announced Thursday.

The new masking order goes into effect 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late, given what we’re seeing,” L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said in a briefing with reporters.

L.A. County has seen several consecutive days with more than 1,000 new cases reported daily amid a “rapid and sustained” spike in the number of cases.

The county recorded 1,537 new coronavirus cases Thursday, an 83% increase over the last week, according to Davis. 

“Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all, regardless of vaccination status, so they can stop the trends and level of transmission we’re currently seeing,” Davis said.

It’s unclear how long the new mask requirements will remain in effect.

“We expect to keep this order in place until we begin to see improvements,” Davis said.

L.A. County’s new order comes after the health department on June 28 started “strongly recommending” that people wear masks indoors in public places. The move came just two weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom reopened California and lifted the statewide mask mandate.

“We took a chance in terms of lifting the physical distancing requirements as well as the capacity limits. We changed the masking at the time. We felt it was reasonable to do given the level of community transmission that we had at that moment,” Davis said. “But this is not the same situation. We’re in a very different situation. This is not the same as what it was June 15.”

Officials said the county’s Health Officer Order will be updated to outline the changes by Friday.

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