Los Angeles County Reinstates Mask Mandate for Healthcare Facilities

Los Angeles County healthcare facilities have reintroduced a mask mandate due to a significant surge in respiratory illnesses. This decision follows a notable increase in COVID-19 cases leading to hospitalizations and fatalities, as officials revealed on Saturday.
The county’s COVID hospital admissions recently reached the CDC’s “medium level” classification on December 29th. This categorization by the CDC considers various factors such as new COVID hospital admissions, COVID patient occupancy in hospitals, and the total number of new cases in the community.
Dr. Annie Rimoin, a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health epidemiology professor, highlighted factors contributing to this rise. These include holiday gatherings, a potentially more contagious variant, low vaccination rates, and colder weather pushing people indoors.
The mask mandate applies to various licensed healthcare facilities, encompassing hospitals, nursing facilities, emergency services, psychiatric hospitals, and more.
According to the county mandate, COVID-19 hospital admissions have surged in December 2023, shifting from a prolonged period at the CDC’s Low Level to the Medium Level. This escalation indicates a more substantial impact of COVID-19 on public health.
Presently, L.A. County reports approximately 10.5 new COVID-related hospital admissions per 100,000 people over a week—close to the CDC’s Medium Level threshold.

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