Los Angeles Public Health officials are asking residents to “mask up” once again as COVID-19 cases increase in the region.

The department stopped short of implementing another indoor mask mandate. Still, officials emphasized that since the average number of positive cases is 19% higher than last week, residents should wear masks when participating in indoor activities, a news release said.

Currently, the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases stands at 3,639, whereas a week prior, the average was 3,053.

L.A. County has moved into the Centers for Disease Prevention “high” community level, which means that healthcare facilities are dealing with a higher influx of people sick with COVID-19 or other illnesses. A high influx of patients can put a strain on hospitals.

This week, the department reported 3,756 new positive COVID-19 cases and 17 new deaths due to the illness.

Hospitals also deal with patients sick with the flu or the Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

Orange County declared a health emergency due to the rapid spread of the virus illness. Public Health officials advise residents to frequently wash their hands and stay up to date on their vaccinations this holiday season.