Long Beach will align with LA County's indoor mask mandate
After weeks of a sustained spike of COVID-19 cases, Long Beach and the rest of Los Angeles County will reestablish its indoor mask order for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, public health officials announced Thursday.
Why it matters: The latest health order comes on the heels of LA County health officials reporting an average of 1,000+ covid cases for the sixth day in a row. The County's positivity rate has increased to 3.7 percent, up from 2.3 percent since last week. Dr. Munta Davis said there is "substantial community transmission," and the County is in an "all-hands-on-deck-moment," per the LA Times.
LA County reported on Wednesday that 220 of the new COVID cases are from Long Beach.
Dr. Muntu Davis said the new health order would take effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
The County has seen a 261% spike of confirmed covid cases for the past two weeks.
Los Angeles County reported 1,537 new coronavirus cases, the most significant one-day increase since March 6.
Meanwhile in Long Beach:
The City of Long Beach has seen a 288% increase in avarge daily cases over the past two weeks.
The positivity rate is 3.8%, and the COVID case rate is 7.5%, the highest since April 4 April 4.
Officials say 84% of new cases "occurred among people who have not been vaccinated," and 88% of COVID-19 cases are among adults 18 or older.
Vaccination statistics indicate racial disparities: 43% of Long Beach's Black population and 55% of its Latino community are vaccinated, compared to more than 65 percent of the rest of the city.
What they're saying:
"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," Dr. Munta Davistold the LA Times.
Dr. Munta Davis said that there would be some exceptions to the latest health orders, similar to previous face mask mandate.
Los Angeles County Public Health said they "strongly urges everyone, as a proactive and precautionary measure, to wear masks in any indoor setting or business where vaccination verification is not required."
Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy said, "we are only 47 days away from the first day of school here in Long Beach. About 70,000 students attend school in the Long Beach Unified School District. Right now, only 40% of people ages 12 to 17 have been vaccinated. In order to protect kids as they return to school in person, we must make sure everyone 12 years old and older is vaccinated.”