Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said today that at the current pace of increases in local Covid-related hospitalizations, the county will move into the federal government’s “high” virus activity category within a few weeks, possibly by the end of June. Ferrer has frequently said — and repeated today — that that would trigger a return of mandatory indoor mask wearing in the county, a requirement that was dropped on march 3 of this year. She noted that the rate of hospitalizations could decrease or increase, depending on residents’ actions.
According to state figures, there were 524 Covid-positive patients in county hospitals as of Thursday, up from 502 a day earlier. The number of patients at which the mask mandate would be trigged is about 1,000, among other measures.
The Bay Area’s largest county, Alameda, announced today it will return to mandatory masking in indoor public spaces, per the Los Angeles Times.
“We applaud Alameda County,” said Ferrer, “as we do all counties that are being proactive in looking at their data.” She also noted that “they do have both higher case rates and higher hospitalizations than L.A. County.”
Ferrer reported a slight increase in new cases vs. last week, with just over 5,000 today. “This number is an undercount,” she noted, “since it doesn’t include positive results from over the counter tests.”
The 7-day daily rate of test positivity is now 5.3. That’s two and one half times higher than one month ago. Ferrer says the jump is likely attributable to an increase in infections as well as a decrease in testing as schools close down for the summer.
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