LA County mask guidance could loosen in coming days as COVID transmission plummets

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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Los Angeles County's public health director says the county could loosen its indoor masking recommendation as COVID-19 numbers continue to drop.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County's public health director says the county could loosen its indoor masking recommendation as COVID-19 numbers continue to drop.

Barbara Ferrer told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that the county averaged roughly 1,700 new COVID infections per day over the past week, a roughly 21% drop from 2,100 per day the previous week. The county's current weekly rate of new COVID infections was 127 per 100,000 residents as of Tuesday.

According to Ferrer, when that rate falls below 100 per 100,000 residents, which could happen within days, the county will change its recommendation for indoor mask-wearing.

Currently, masking indoors is strongly recommended. Ferrer said masking could simply turn into a matter of "individual preference" in the coming days.

However, masks would still be required in places like health care facilities, homeless shelters and aboard public transportation and in businesses that choose to mandate them.

Mask-wearing will also continue to be required indoors for 10 days -- including at schools -- for people who have been exposed to the virus.

Ferrer added the countywide falling transmission rate is an indication that "the risk of getting infected or infecting others is reduced. But she said people who are exposed to or infected with the virus still present a risk of transmitting the virus to others.

The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 5.6% as of Tuesday, roughly the same rate as the past week.

City News Service contributed to this report.