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Los Angeles reportedly reinstating indoor mask mandate as COVID cases rise

Infections have been up in L.A. County and California for weeks

July 22, 2022 2:26pm

Updated: July 23, 2022 9:48am

Authorities in Los Angeles are reportedly poised to issue a new indoor mask mandate in the hopes that doing so will curb the rise in COVID cases observed locally and throughout the state over the last several weeks. 

Los Angeles officials are "poised to impose new indoor mask rules next week," the L.A. Times reported this week, noting that "data show the hyper-infectious BA.5 Omicron subvariant is pushing coronavirus case counts higher."

Officials in the city and county have indicated in the past that they would re-impose a mask mandate if cases got high enough under CDC criteria. Confirmed infections in L.A. County have been steadily rising since April. 

The looming mask mandate in one of the country's most populous centers is yet another sign of increased anxieties surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with higher case numbers throughout the United States sending authorities scrambling to counteract what are fears of another "surge" in the country. 

Experts have cautioned that the present rise in COVID cases comes at a time when the U.S. is far better poised to deal with even heavier caseloads, due to factors such as natural immunity, vaccine-derived immunity and better understanding of COVID treatments after two years of experimentation. 

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, meanwhile, indicated to the Times that the mask mandate would likely be short-lived. 

"It isn’t going to take much to move us back into that 'medium' community level if we can get our case numbers to go lower,” she told the paper.