California mulls reinstating indoor mask mandate as Covid-19 cases surge
Los Angeles, July 11 (IANS) Health officials in California are considering reinstating indoor mask mandates as Covid-19 cases continued to rise due to the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.
Across the state, 38 of California's 58 counties are in a "high" community level for Covid-19, according to data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.
Los Angeles public health officials said on Friday the county will likely move into that category by late next week. If Los Angeles County stays in the high category for 14 days, it will reimpose the mask mandate in public places.
"Universal indoor masking would be implemented across LA County," said Barbara Ferrer, Director of the county's Public Health Department.
"We all now face a higher risk of getting Covid because there are more people infected with the virus who can transmit to others when we gather, go shopping, or attend events," she added.
The number of Covid-positive hospitalised patients in the county on Friday, at 1,021, is the highest of hospitalised patients since February 26, and the number of daily deaths at 18 is the highest since March 30, according to the LA County Public Health Department.
The county's hospital admission rate has increased 62 per cent since June this year, according to the Department.