Delta variant concerns increase; Public Health issues mask recommendations

Coronavirus. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

The L.A. County Public Health Department announced Monday the recommendation for all individuals to resume wearing face coverings in indoor settings as the COVID-19 Delta variant circulates in the county. 

Public Health announced the recommendation in a press release Monday, saying people regardless of vaccination status should wear a face mask in indoor public places as the variant made up half of all variants sequenced in the county during the week of June 12. 

“Fully vaccinated people appear to be well protected from infections with Delta variant,” read the press release. “However, people with only one dose of Pfizer or Moderna are not as well protected.” 

Public Health is recommending people should wear a mask in indoor public places, such as grocery or retail stores, theaters or family-entertainment centers, as well as workplaces where the vaccine status of all employees is unknown. 

The recommendation comes two weeks after the state’s blueprint for a safer economy expired and all businesses were able to reopen without mask mandates, physical distancing and capacity limits. 

The World Health Organization released a similar recommendation a few days prior to Public Health’s urging everyone regardless of vaccination status to continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. 

“Until we better understand how and to who the Delta variant is spreading, everyone should focus on maximizing protection with minimum interruption to routine as all businesses operate without other restrictions, like physical distancing and capacity limits,” the press release read. 

The Delta variant was first discovered in India in December and has become the dominant variant worldwide, according to a WHO press conference on June 18. 

Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Tuesday: 

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 321 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,249,835 

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 3 

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 24,482 

Hospitalizations countywide: 229; 24% of whom are in the ICU. 

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 20, 13 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita. 

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 28,177 

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of June 28: 307 

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of June 29: 68.8%. 

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