L.A. County residents adjust to evolving COVID-19 restrictions as delta variant threat grows

Local news

As the super-contagious coronavirus delta variant continues to sweep across California and the nation, Los Angeles County residents are adjusting yet again to the ever-evolving roster of COVID-19 rules as health officials fear not enough people are vaccinated against the virus.

The latest twist came this week, when California’s public health agency recommended that people wear masks again in indoor public spaces regardless of their vaccination status.

Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s public health officer, said the state made the new recommendations since “the delta variant has caused a sharp increase in hospitalizations and case rates across the state.”

Although case numbers in California remain well below the winter peak, infections and hospitalizations are rising and health officials fear that not enough people are vaccinated to curb the spread of the delta variant. 

On Friday, L.A. County reported 3,606 new cases of COVID-19 and nearly 1,000 coronavirus-related hospitalizations, in which 20% were intensive care unit patients.

“Given the high rate of community transmission in our county, our vaccination efforts remain critically important to reducing the impact of rising infection on our residents, including people experiencing homelessness who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday. “If you already had COVID-19 and recovered, you should still get vaccinated.”

Out of the 10.3 million residents in L.A. County residents, including those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, 60% have received at least one dose, and 52% are fully vaccinated, health officials said Friday.

Ferrer warned that those who haven’t yet received their second shot of a two-dose vaccine aren’t “getting maximum protection against COVID-19.” 

“All of the emerging data on the delta variant indicates that the vaccines do not provide significant protection unless you have received both doses, so please go get your second dose this weekend,” Ferrer urged.

“Given the high rate of community transmission in our county, our vaccination efforts remain critically important to reducing the impact of rising infection on our residents, including people experiencing homelessness who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday. “If you already had COVID-19 and recovered, you should still get vaccinated.”

Ferrer warned that those who haven’t yet received their second shot of a two-dose vaccine aren’t “getting maximum protection against COVID-19.” 

“All of the emerging data on the delta variant indicates that the vaccines do not provide significant protection unless you have received both doses, so please go get your second dose this weekend,” Ferrer urged.

Meanwhile, cities, school districts and employers across the state have announced their own measures around masking and vaccinations, sometimes going further than federal and state recommendations.

With its indoor masking recommendation, California is following the lead of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state officials said. The CDC reversed course on some masking guidelines, advising that even vaccinated people go back to masking up indoors in areas where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.

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