Hospitals in LA County Face Reinstated Mask Mandates

Over the weekend, Los Angeles County officially reinstated a mandate requiring staff, patients, and visitors to wear masks at licensed healthcare facilities. This decision was prompted by a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

Health officials stated that on December 29, the county reached the “medium level” for hospital admissions according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prompting the implementation of the masking mandate.

“Over the past week in Los Angeles County, there have been notable, yet not unexpected, increases in COVID-19 reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement about the change.

“While recent increases are significant, they remain considerably below last winter’s peak and common-sense protections are strongly recommended to help curb transmission and severe illness as the new year begins.”

The mandate specifies that it will be lifted when Los Angeles County, the most populous in the United States, falls below the CDC’s threshold for “low level” COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations. The CDC’s “medium” level is defined as 10 to 19.9 new COVID-19-related hospital admissions per 100,000 people over one week. The recent data indicates that over the past week, Los Angeles County recorded 10.5 new COVID-19-related hospitalizations.

“In addition, all persons visiting a licensed health care facility that provides inpatient care are required to mask when around patients and while in patient-care areas. This will remain in effect until the COVID-19 hospital admission level in Los Angeles County is below the CDC’s Medium Level for at least 14 consecutive days,” the order added.

Following the lead of New York City’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, Los Angeles implemented a similar mandate at its facilities late last month.