California is ditching its indoor mask mandate—but not Los Angeles

As Covid cases fall sharply, hospitalizations stabilize and vaccination rates rise rapidly (and because, uh, politicians pose without masks at football games), California has decided not to extend its mandate for an indoor mask across the state.

On February 15, The mandate for an indoor mask throughout the state of California will expire, which means that only unvaccinated people will have to wear masks in public places indoors. But – because of course there is one but – this will still not apply in Los Angeles County, which has its own stricter regulation, preceding that for the entire state.

Just last week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health repeated it the indicators needed to terminate his local mandate, and this week the department further developed – and slightly changed – its plan. Short version: We could see that the mandate for a mask for major outdoor events fell by 16 February, and the mandate for a mask for indoor events expired by the end of March.

“Masks provide a basic layer of protection when transmission is high and vaccine protection is reduced,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a briefing Thursday. In defense of the county’s decision not to give up its indoor mask mandate yet, she noted that cases and hospitalizations are now higher than when the governor first issued a mask mandate nationwide.

All this means that after February 15, vaccinated people will be able to throw their masks on neighbors without a mandate like Orange County, but not in Los Angeles. Even in these areas, a federal mandate will still require masks on public transportation and health facilities. and a state ordinance currently requires masks in K-12 schools as well.

Back in Los Angeles, when Covid-19 hospitalizations drop below 2,500 for seven consecutive days, the county will ease some of its requirements for Omicron-induced surges: masks in particular will no longer be required in big “mega outdoor events”. On Thursday, LA recorded its first day under this brand, which means the ordinance could be eased after next Wednesday if trends continue.

To resign indoors, LA will need to register for two consecutive weeks at or below the “moderate transmission” level (the second of the four levels defined by the CDC). Alternatively, the county would also do so if vaccines were available for children under five for eight weeks. In both cases, we will have to be in a period where there are no new reports of significant circulating, vaccine-avoiding new options. As of now, LA remains at the highest level of CDC levels; there are currently more than 600 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days and that number should fall below 50. But that number is falling by about 3.5% every day, and Ferrer estimates that if we keep that pace, we will meet the requirements. for 25 to 30 days – add two weeks to this and you will see how the requirements for indoor masks will be eliminated by the end of March.

Ferrer noted that the requirements to end the mandate indoors could be eased if new tools emerge that improve Covid-19 results, such as the adequate supply of highly effective therapies. However, the antiviral pill Paxlovid currently remains in scarce supply. She also commented on the future of the county’s target vaccine mandate for indoor bars, which will continue until we see two weeks of low transmission – or “not soon”, as Ferrer put it.

In addition to the mask mandate, the state will ease definitions of mega-events that require proof of vaccination or a negative test result: the threshold for what qualifies as indoor mega-events will increase from 500 to 1,000, while those in the open will increase from 5,000 to 10,000 (it is not yet clear whether both the city and the county of Los Angeles will follow suit.)

This story was originally published on February 7, following the initial announcement by the state, and was updated with the latest information from the county.

California is ditching its indoor mask mandate—but not Los Angeles Source link California is ditching its indoor mask mandate—but not Los Angeles

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