Masks are once again set to be required for Los Angeles County residents indoors — regardless of vaccination status — starting Sunday, county Department of Public Health officials announced Thursday.
A new health officer order is set to go into effect 11:59 p.m. Saturday, with details on the order set to be released by Friday.
The move follows Public Health urging residents to wear masks indoors in public in recent weeks as COVID-19 case rates and spread of the Delta variant increased.
“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,” Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said during Thursday’s media briefing. “We’re at a substantial level of community transmission … and we have to think about acting differently. Once we’re at a higher level, that will be too late.”
Public Health officials have reported more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases for a week straight, nearly double that reported the week prior, with 1,537 cases reported Thursday, an 83% increase in the last week, according to Davis.
Davis said the order is expected to remain in place until Public Health begins to see improvements on case rates so that residents can “stop the trends and level of transmission we’re currently seeing.”
Reinstating the indoor mask mandate is set to allow businesses to continue operations without reinstating limitations, such as capacities, Davis added.
“This is one of the things that can be done. It is one thing that we have strongly recommended, even after June 15,” Davis said.
Davis told reporters on Thursday that the Delta variant was at 14% of cases in L.A. County’s sequencing and masks add an extra level of protection for vaccinated and unvaccinated people alike.
Earlier this week, Orange County also reimplemented their mask mandate indoors as case rates began rising there too.