A month after the state dropped most Covid restrictions, Los Angeles County has ordered retailers and other indoor venues to mandate face coverings.
Starting Saturday night, mask-wearing will be required inside regardless of vaccination status, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The new mandate comes as daily coronavirus cases have spiked, along with the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19.
L.A. County recorded 1,077 average new cases per day for the week ending on Wednesday and 1,537 cases alone on Thursday. That compares to 173 per day in the week before California lifted most mitigation mandates on June 15.
The end of most Covid restrictions last month came several months after the second wave of the virus in California started to recede.
Restrictions last year and during that second wave were devastating for businesses in L.A. and throughout the state. The latest mandate, while requiring masks, does not lower capacities for any businesses.
The new mandate is largely to protect unvaccinated individuals, according to the report. Between early December and early June, unvaccinated individuals accounted for 99.6 percent of Covid cases in L.A. County. Those who were not administered the vaccine also accounted for 98.7 percent of hospitalizations and 99.8 percent of deaths during that period.
The rate of new cases are rising in other counties as well. Average daily cases have more than doubled since late June in Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino counties.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch