With a decision expected tomorrow on whether Angels The county will reintroduce the indoor mask-wearing mandate due to a spike in cases of the most contagious Variable BA.5Today, El Segundo has added its name to the list of local cities that would refuse to impose such a rule if it were implemented by the county.
“My city council colleagues and I firmly believe that the decision to wear a mask should be an individual’s choice and should not be imposed by Los Angeles County,” El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles said in a statement. Individuals should review the available data, consider their own circumstances, and make their own decisions about wearing a mask. Companies need to consider the various agencies that regulate their business as part of deciding how to react to any potential change in concealment requirements.”
The council voted during a special meeting Tuesday night against imposing a possible mask order.
The Beverly Hills The city council made a similar vote Monday night, saying it would not impose any new authorization mask. Ironically, in 2020, Beverly Hills was among the first cities in Los Angeles County institute Outdoor mask state. City officials have decreed that everyone must wear some type of face covering whenever they leave their homes.
The cities of Long Beach and Pasadena — both of which operate their own health departments separate from the county and already have the authority to decide on their own health official’s orders — announced Tuesday that they would not issue mask authorizations, even if the county did.
“The [Long Beach] The Department of Health strongly encourages people to exercise personal responsibility and common sense to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the greater community Corona virus disease-19,” according to a statement from Long Beach. “People are advised to wear masks indoors when in public, to conduct rapid testing three to five days before and after social gatherings and to choose outdoor activities where possible.”
Both Long Beach and Pasadena officials said they will continue to monitor the COVID situation. Pasadena officials said they would “consider appropriate public health measures to protect our community as the situation changes.”
The county public health department is expected to announce Thursday whether a new mask mandate will be imposed beginning Friday.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the mandate will be imposed if the county remains at its “high” virus activity level — as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — for two consecutive weeks. The county will reach the two-week threshold on Thursday.
The county moved into the high category when the average daily rate of new Covid-related hospital admissions was 10 per 100,000 residents. As of last Thursday, the county rate was as high as 11.7 per 100,000 residents.
Covid infections and hospital numbers have stabilized and even decreased over the past week and a half. Ferrer said last week — and reiterated Tuesday — that if downtrends continue, the county could be late in enforcing a new mask mandate.
She told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that, given the recent declines, “we may be in a position to halt the implementation of mass masking.”
Most metrics for tracking epidemics are down, Ferrer said Tuesday, noting that the average daily rate of new cases over the past week has fallen to about 6,100, down from 6,700 the week before. She said hospitalizations linked to the virus had also stabilised, along with the daily number of deaths – although she stressed that the latter was still very high at around 14 deaths a day.
But on Wednesday, the numbers jumped again. The number of newly reported Covid cases has more than doubled from Tuesday, when it was just over 3,500, to just over 7,300. The rise follows a familiar pattern seen in recent weeks, which may have given false hope at the start of the week: as test results And tests are slow over the weekend, Sunday and Tuesday numbers are often much lower. But once the backlog ends, the daily case numbers rise exponentially every day until Saturday. Ferrer also cautioned that because home test results are not reported, current daily rates are likely to be “significantly understated”.
Testing for positivity also jumped, which is often more accurate as a percentage of total cases and a 7-day average. After dropping about one point to just over 14% yesterday, the numbers have been recalibrated, with most of the week in the low 15% range and Wednesday’s number rising to 16.2%.
Covid-realted hospital admissions rose slightly from Monday to about 1,280, but that’s lower compared to 1,329 last Thursday. But, like Ferrer to caution Last week, if daily cases were on the rise, hospital treatment would almost certainly follow suit two weeks later, making the logic of temporarily halting mask authorization more difficult for officials.
The number of deaths has increased significantly today as well, from 5 on Monday to 20 today. The latter number is in line with that seen late last week.
Los Angeles County is the only state in the state considering a concealment mandate, although all but eight of its counties also fall into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “high” virus activity level.
While Ferrer has championed the idea of delegation – calling it a tried-and-true tool to slow the transmission of the virus and protect workers at in-house companies – opposition to the concept has grown.
County Supervisor Catherine Barger issued a statement Monday saying she would not support the mandate. She said she agrees that masks are an effective tool against the spread of the virus, but does not believe that imposing a mandate will have the desired effect.
“I am strongly against imposing the mask, because I really believe it would have the opposite effect,” Barger said during Tuesday’s board meeting.
Supervisor Janice Hahn joined her in opposing the potential mandate, saying she feared imposing such a rule “would be divisive in Los Angeles County.” The two were also the dissenting voices before the mask mandates were lifted in January.
“I honestly think there is a significant number of the population unwilling to accept mask mandates at this point,” Han said. Many of them, who contacted me, indicated that we now have more tools than we had at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Personally, I am concerned … because this time we lose faith in a part of the audience that has already been with us until this moment,” she said.
Hahn suggested that the county simply consider expanding the list of places where masks are still required to include grocery stores and drugstores, rather than all indoor spaces. Ferrer said her department would consider the idea.
The City News Service contributed to this report.
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