As data indicates the extremely contagious flu, Los Angeles County is getting ready to adopt new indoor mask regulations starting next week.
The BA.5 Omicron subvariant is increasing the incidence of coronavirus illnesses and causing more hospital admissions.
A new mask rule would signal a considerable uptick in the reaction to recent subvariables that were responsible for the spring and summer surge and could hasten the re-infection of coronavirus in susceptible individuals. It’s uncertain if other counties in Southern California would follow Los Angeles County in bringing back masks this year. On June 3, Alameda County issued a mask authorization; three weeks later, it was revoked.
The idea of a mask rule has prompted considerable discussion in a population tired of the pandemic and its constraints, even though a final decision is still days away.
Supporters claim that the action will help curb the coronavirus’s rapid spread in an efficient and low-impact manner. The most populous county in the country, Los Angeles County, is distinct from every other county in California. Due to its high rates of poverty and cramped dwellings, it has been affected more severely than the majority of the state.
Indoor masks are one of the easiest and most successful instruments we have to stop the spread of COVID-19 in this pandemic, according to Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, on Thursday.
In the county as of Wednesday, 1,329 people who tested positive for the coronavirus had been admitted to hospitals, a 34% increase from two weeks prior.
In contrast, during that time the overall number of patients increased by 23% to 4,762.
The amount of hospitalizations in Los Angeles County and all of California is still much below the prior high. 57 percent of these patients in Los Angeles County, according to officials, were not receiving treatment for COVID-19 but instead had unintentionally tested positive when they were admitted for other reasons.
However, the majority (about 71%) of coronavirus positive patients in intensive care units are receiving COVID-19 treatment, according to Ferrer.
By Thursday, Los Angeles County had reported an average of 6,753 coronavirus cases per day during the preceding week, an increase of 5% from the week before and almost twice as many as at the peak of the Delta surge in the previous summer. That was considerably less than the 25% increase from a week earlier, though.
Los Angeles County had 468 instances per 100,000 persons each week on a per capita basis. A ratio of 100 or higher is said to be high.
Despite increased patient numbers and strong transmission rates, the pandemic has altered, as evidenced by the fact that the number of cases is still quite low.
Officials and scientists explain this trend, in which the majority of sick persons do not experience severe illness, to widespread vaccination and the accessibility of effective therapies.
Some use this discrepancy as justification for opposing new mask regulations. What is the cause if hospitals aren’t at risk of becoming overcrowded?
People ought to enjoy their life since we are in a better place, said Ferrer. She added that unless conditions change, masks will be required starting next week due to many alarming symptoms of the current spike.
Emergency room visits connected to COVID-19 have increased by a factor of two since Memorial Day, from 5% to 10%. The location experienced significant disruptions and some staffing shortages. 429 occupational clusters of coronavirus cases are being reported weekly in Los Angeles County, more than doubling the amount since early June. Last week, there were 33 new outbreak reports from nursing facilities, which is twice as many as during the previous week.
High rates of community transmission also result in unnecessary and preventable fatalities, mostly among the most disadvantaged people, according to Ferrer. “We have a fair possibility of saving some deaths in the next months if we can limit the rate of transmission.”
The number of deaths from COVID-19 is still high. Deaths in Los Angeles County increased from roughly 50 per week to 86 to 100 per week.
Masks have evolved into a symbol for many other things that we truly want to leave behind, according to Ferrer. “I think we’ve gotten bored of that,” she added. I would implore people to view wearing your mask as a gesture of goodwill, consideration, and respect for others and to assist us in resuming the slowing of transmission, which will be to everyone’s advantage.