VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- Public health officials in Ventura County are urging residents to wear face masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.
As the county sees rising COVID-19 cases and "increased circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant," the advisory released Monday recommends that people wear masks while indoors in public spaces. It is not a requirement.
"All community members should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus," county Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said in a statement. "While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection."
County data shows unvaccinated people are 22 times more likely to become infected and hospitalized than those who have been vaccinated against the virus, Levin added.
"We are seeing a significant growth in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our County. As of (Monday), there are 504 new cases since July 12, 41 current hospitalizations and 9 community members in the ICU. The daily case rate per 100,000 has increased to 4.4," said Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas. "All community members are encouraged to get vaccinated to help protect themselves and loved ones. This will also help reverse this concerning trend of increasing cases since June 15."
The recommendation comes after Los Angeles County reinstated its own mask mandate. The city of Pasadena announced Monday it will reinstate an indoor mask rule for residents, regardless of vaccination status, and require all city employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Pasadena officials say reinstatement of the indoor mask rule comes amid a "significant increase in case rates" over the last three weeks. City officials add that they've seen a 240% increase in COVID-19 cases since July 1.