Mask mandate will go back into place on Saturday night
Officials in the nation’s most populated county say that everyone must wear a mask in indoor public spaces, regardless of their vaccination status.
The rule goes back into place at 11.59pm on Saturday, according to the county’s health officer, Dr Muntu Davis.
The mandate will be the same as the one lifted by California’s reopening on 15 June.
Los Angeles has seen a large increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, and in the week ending on Wednesday there had been a 261 per cent increase in cases from the two previous weeks, according to The Los Angeles Times.
That works out at an average of 1,077 cases a day, and Dr Davis reported on Thursday that there had been another 1537 cases.
“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late given what we’re seeing now,” said Dr Davis.
Los Angeles County officials recommended last month that residents wear masks while in indoor public spaces.
Dr Davis added that the mandate will remain in place until the county sees “improvements” and did not rule out additional measures being re-introduced.
“Anything is on the table if things continue to get worse, which is why we want to take action now,” he said.
Officials say that around 4m people in Los Angeles County remain unvaccinated, and 99 per cent of new cases involve those who have not got their shots yet.
The move by Los Angeles officials does not have any impact on the state’s guidance on wearing masks, says the California Department of Public Health.
The department said that it “supports local health departments, like Los Angeles County, making stricter policies based on the conditions in their community.”
Health officials in the Sacramento area of California have also introduced a similar rule this week.
The US has seen more than 33.9m cases since the start of the pandemic, accounting for 608,000 deaths.