Los Angeles County is reimposing an indoor mask mandate for all residents regardless of their vaccination status, county health officials said on Thursday.
The decision to reimpose the mandate came after the number of coronavirus cases in the county topped 1,000 for six straight days, while 406 people are hospitalized with the illness, according to the local Fox 11. The county has a total population of over 10 million.
The new mandate is set to take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.
Many of the new infections are driven by the “Delta” variant of the coronavirus, which has caused widespread outbreaks in countries where vaccinations are sparse, such as India and Uganda. However, coronavirus vaccines available in the U.S. are considered to still offer protection against the new variant.
According to the Los Angeles County Public Health dashboard, 69 percent of eligible residents have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, with 61 percent fully vaccinated. Among residents age 65 and over, the age group most vulnerable to COVID-19, 88 percent have received one dose while 77 percent are fully vaccinated.
Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration director during the Trump administration, said people vulnerable to coronavirus should take “precautions” to prevent infection if they live in an area with “dense” coronavirus spread.
"#deltavariant is going to move its way through the country through the course of August and September … that's what we expected. The peak of this epidemic would really be sometime around the end of September," says @ScottGottliebMD. "Unfortunately the worst is yet to come." pic.twitter.com/04wXr53Yg5
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 14, 2021
“If you’re in a location where there’s dense spread…I think people need to start taking precautions, including people who are fully vaccinated, if you’re a vulnerable individual,” Gottlieb told MSNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday. Examples of vulnerable individuals include the elderly and people who are “immunocompromised,” Gottlieb added.