(NewsNation) — A number of major cities are now mulling a return to masking measures.
In California, more than 10 counties, including Los Angeles and San Bernardino, are now in the “high” tier. Los Angeles County health officials are again strongly recommending that everyone wears masks indoors. Over the past week, Los Angeles hospitals saw an average of 1,245 COVID-positive patients every day — that’s a nearly 20 percent jump over the previous seven days.
“When you put on your mask for these few weeks during this surge, it is about the people of LA County. it is about every individual, every visitor, our health care workers, essential workers and other people who serve. in addition to vaccination, it is one of the easiest things everyone can do right now,” Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County director of public health, wrote in a press release.
In New York, a health advisory notice was sent out alerting hospitals, local health departments, emergency rooms and labs to prepare for rapidly rising cases of respiratory illness.
The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are in orange, meaning high-risk levels, while Manhattan is in yellow, the medium-risk level, according to the latest CDC data. On Dec. 9, state officials urged schools to return to indoor masking to curb the spread of respiratory illnesses … READ MORE.
Masks will now be required at these places in Alameda Co. due to rising COVID levels
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — COVID hospitalizations are increasing throughout the state. The last time California had over 4,000 people in the hospital with COVID was in July.
As hospitalizations increase, statewide transmission levels are changing. According to the CDC, the majority of the state is in yellow meaning under the medium COVID -19 community levels of transmission.
“We have seen our numbers sort of subtly increasing since mid-October. Yesterday, we moved from CDC’s yellow into CDC medium level,” said Dr. Joanna Locke, COVID clinical guidance lead for Alameda County Health Department.
In Alameda County, as of Thursday, the seven-day average case rate is 21 cases per 100,000 residents and 149 people are in the hospital with COVID-19. Now, they are updating their mask requirements.
County health officials say that per California state law, they must now re-implement mask requirements in high-risk settings besides healthcare. These include:
- Homeless shelters
- Emergency shelters
- Heating and cooling centers (staff and residents)
- Alameda Co. correctional and detention facilities
“We are aligned with the state masking guidance. We have not instituted any new requirements ourselves here in Alameda County, but according to the state when we move into medium certain locations, we need to require masking for staff and residents,” said Dr. Locke.
What about the state? In a statement, California’s Department of public health states:
“We are empowering Californians to take voluntary actions, including masking in public indoor settings, and getting the flu shot and updated COVID-19 booster, to protect themselves and their families from multiple respiratory viruses circulating in the state. We are not considering a statewide masking mandate at this time. As always, local governments may implement separate and more strict policies … ” READ MORE.
Authorities are urging indoor masking in major cities as the ‘tripledemic’ rages
December 11, 2022, Juliana Kim
SHOTS – HEALTH NEWS – Public health officials are revisiting the topic of indoor masking, as three highly contagious respiratory viruses take hold during the holiday season.
Over the past few weeks, a surge in cases of COVID, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been sickening millions of Americans, overwhelming emergency rooms and even causing a cold medicine shortage. The triple threat has been called a “tripledemic” by some health experts.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted this past week that the simultaneous combination of viruses has been straining healthcare systems across the country.
The center’s map that tracks COVID-19 community levels has been showing more orange recently, a color indicating an area of “high” infection, Walensky told NPR’s Alisa Chang on All Things Considered.
“To protect communities in those circumstances at those high levels, we have recommended and continue to recommend that those communities wear masks,” she said.
Nearly a tenth of counties in the U.S. are advised to wear masks indoors, CDC says
CDC’s latest COVID-19 community level map indicates that over 9% of counties in the country were considered to have a high risk of infection.
The federal agency recommends that people living in those areas practice indoor masking. Generally, children under the age of 2 are not recommended to wear face coverings … READ MORE.