California issues statewide mask mandate

SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: Gideon Fajardo, left, and his daughters Melody, 12, and Natalie ,10, wear their masks as they prepare to fly their kite at Central Park in Saugus on Friday, Jan. 8, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

California issued a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces Monday through the holidays, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 had more than doubled in a week.

The statewide mask order set to go into effect Wednesday and expire Jan. 15 requires all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks indoors in public spaces. However, Los Angeles County has its own mask mandate that was implemented in the summer.

The move comes as the state had seen a 47% rise in case rates since Thanksgiving, according to California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly.

Both the state and L.A. County are classified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be in a high level of transmission, the worst tier in the four-tier scale.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, a total of 23 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Henry Mayo as of Monday, which is up from the 11 patients reported on Dec. 6, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.

The hospital also reported one additional death related to COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing its total since the onset of the pandemic to 185.

L.A. County Department of Public Health officials have continued to warn residents of the beginnings of a winter surge, reporting an increase in cases and hospitalizations countywide and urging residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine or booster.

Public Health officials also reported the county’s seventh confirmed case of Omicron over the weekend.

The individual recently traveled domestically, is fully vaccinated, had mild symptoms and is self-isolating, per Public Health.

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

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 1,123

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,548,157

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 11

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 27,341

Hospitalizations countywide: 698

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 13: 23, with 1,676 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases were reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 49, 37 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 39,727

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Dec. 12: 366

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Dec. 5: 77.0%*

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Dec. 5: 73.6%*

*These figures now include all eligible Los Angeles County residents ages 5 and older.

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