LA County health officials are requiring 10 days of mask wearing after New Year’s Eve

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Los Angeles County health officials are hoping residents will work together after New Year’s Eve with a new plan to avoid a precipitous spike in COVID-19 cases.

Following a spike in cases and hospitalizations after the Thanksgiving break, LA Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer is asking residents to temporarily wear masks when around others.

“Wearing masks for 10 days, so many returning to work, to school, can slow transmission, minimize disruption to work and study,” she said. “Protect the most vulnerable and help prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.”

The incubation period for the virus is ten days.

According to Ferrer, this strategy is also being tried in other major cities like New York and Boston, but even outdoors, wearing masks at big celebrations would be a smart move.

“Like the Rose Bowl parade, go ahead and put that mask on,” Ferrer said. “Even though you’re very close to other people, it’s not a huge inconvenience and it really helps.”

Right now, the 7-day moving average of new cases is down 13% since last week. Reported deaths have fallen to an average of 15 a day, down from 21 a day last week, but after a month-long decline, hospital admissions are starting to rise.

“As you can see, admissions are no longer declining. In the past week, there have been an average of 192 registrations per day,” said Ferrer.

A slight increase from the average of 178 daily admissions over the past week.

“It’s very possible that a spike in cases after the January holiday will get us back up to the high community level,” Ferrer said.

This New Year, Ferrer urges residents to test themselves before meeting others.

“I get questions from people about how to get their test kits and I’m confident that with these precautions we can continue to really protect each other,” Ferrer said.

The request to wear masks in schools and workplaces after the winter break is not a requirement, but a recommendation.

But Ferrer hopes people will stick with it given the high transmission rates of COVID-19 and the flu.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. LA County health officials are requiring 10 days of mask wearing after New Year’s Eve

Laura Coffey

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