The California county placed its transmission levels at “medium” last week, with 2,490 new infections every day, according to Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
If the number creeps into the “high” level, Ferrer said she will impose an indoor mask mandate.
“There is this common line of thinking that the pandemic is over and COVID is no longer of concern, but these numbers clearly demonstrate that COVID is still with us,” Ferrer said, according to ABC News.
Currently, the county has 185 cases per 100,000 people. If that number reaches 200 infections per 100,000 people, that would be considered a “high” level of transmission. Ferrer predicted that designation might come as early as this week.
“Given both the increases in hospitalizations and the lack of certainty in the winter trajectory for COVID-19, continuing some commonsense mitigation strategies that we know work to limit transmission and illness, including masking and being up to date on vaccines and boosters, remains a very sensible approach,” she said.
Los Angeles has had some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the country, requiring masks on and off for the past few years. As recently as spring of this year, masks were still required indoors in the county.
Even when the county lifted this restriction, it did so only for adults who could prove they were fully vaccinated.
“A covered Location shall require each patron to provide proof of vaccination upon entering an indoor portion of a covered location,” read an executive order from then-Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“A covered location shall require proof of vaccination upon the patron’s first in-person interaction with staff,” the order continued. “A covered location is required to cross-check proof of vaccination for each patron who appears to be 18 years of age or older against photo identification. Subject to the exemptions below, a patron shall not be permitted to enter an indoor portion of a covered location without proof of vaccination.”