Los Angeles Public Health announced the county would not reinstate an indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 cases were seeing a downward trend.

During a COVID-19 update on Thursday, L.A. County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, said the decline in both cases and hospitalizations could move L.A. County from a “high” community spread, to a “medium” community spread, in accordance with the CDC’s standards.

“As we noted last week, any indication that the county would soon move to the ‘medium’ community level, would be a good reason to not move forward with universal indoor masking,” Ferrer said. “We will be  pausing and not moving forward at this point in time.”

The decline in hospitalization admissions is the first since mid-April, with Ferrer saying it illustrates a drop in overall COVID-19 transmission.

The current 7-day positive case rate for L.A. County is 426 per 100,000 residents, which is still considered high by the CDC standards, but lower than the previous 7-day average of 481 cases per capita.

CDC 7-day data from July 25 placed L.A. County hospital admissions at 11.5 per 100,000 residents, above its threshold of 10, however LACDPH estimated its own metrics with more current data, to show the county is in a downward trend, with current hospital admissions at 9.7, which would be below the CDCs threshold if numbers held.

“While these differences are not as noteworthy when we’re experiencing an upward trend, they can make a significant difference when the admission rates are declining,” Ferrer said. “While we don’t know what the CDC will post with their update today… as you can see, when we use the L.A. County data on hospital admissions, we’re moving from high community level to medium community level.”

Despite no order for a mask mandate, Ferrer urged Angelenos to wear masks while in retail spaces, shared office spaces, restaurants, bars and areas where spread is more likely to occur.

“The continued high rate of transmission does call on all of us to wear masks indoors in public spaces, in order to help limit spread,” Ferrer said.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, masks will still be required in healthcare settings, public transit, long-term care facilities, shelters, cooling centers, correctional facilities and wherever required by private businesses.

L.A. County recorded 7,009 positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a decline of more than 1,000 from last Friday’s 8,091 positive cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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