Los Angeles County Mask Mandate Supported By President Biden Covid Expert

·2 min read

The eruption of the BA.5 variant of Covid-19 has led local officials to consider reinstating the county’s indoor mask mandate. Today, that revisit of the protocols was backed by Dr. Ashish Jha, President Biden’s Covid coordinator, who was speaking to ABC’s “This Week” talk show.

Los Angeles may bring back its universal indoor mask mandate on July 29 if the county continues in the Centers for Disease Control’s “high” transmission threshold.

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“My view on this has been very clear, which is local jurisdictions, cities, counties, states should make decisions about mask mandates, because communities are different and their patterns of transmission are different,” Jha said.

“That said, CDC has very clear guidance on this as well through their COVID community levels. And the CDC recommendation is that when you’re in a high zone, that sort of orange zone, you know, people wearing masks indoors is really important, and it really will make a difference.”

Jha said the science behind taking precautions was clear.

“If you’re in a crowded indoor space, especially if it’s poorly ventilated, wearing a mask reduces your risk of infection and reduces your risk of spreading it to others. So we’ve got to continue to encourage people to do that.”

BA.5 is now the dominant strain of the coronavirus circulating.  The World Health Organization reports it was behind 52% of cases sequenced in late June, up from 37% in one week. In the United States, it is estimated to be causing around 65% of infections.

Even those vaccinated or with prior protections can catch the new variant.

The Los Angeles Times reported that nearly 9 in 10 Californians live in counties with high COVID-19 levels in which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal masking in indoor public spaces.

 

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