The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health modified its mask requirements for employees on Wednesday, with employers being required, as of Jan. 17, to provide better masks to their employees.
The news of the mandate comes on the same day that the Public Health Department announced 26,754 new positive cases in a single day, as well as 27 new COVID-19-related deaths. This brings the total number of cases and deaths since the onset of the pandemic to 1,806,828 and 27,698, respectively.
In their statement, health officials said that their new masking mandate is in light of new information showing that vaccinations alone are not sufficient in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant.
“As soon as possible, but no later than Jan. 17, employers are required to provide their employees who work indoors in close contact with others with well-fitting medical grade masks, surgical masks, or higher-level respirators, such as N95 or KN95 masks,” the statement said. “These upgraded masks are better at blocking virus particles from going through the mask.”
The new modifications also include an alignment with the State Public Health Officer Order for attendance thresholds for mega events, with the new attendance threshold being lowered to 5,000 attendants and indoor mega events being lowered to 500 attendees.
“Operators of mega events, performance venues, movie theaters, and entertainment venues are responsible for the messaging, signage, and compliance of masking requirements unless spectators or customers are actively eating or drinking,” read the statement. “Additionally, Public Health recommends that food and drink be consumed in designated dining areas.”
All COVID-19 services are free to L.A. County residents and can be accessed by anyone regardless of insurance or immigration status. To find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you, visit VaccinateLACounty.com, or to find a testing site, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Wednesday:
Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 26,754
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,806,828
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 27
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 27,698
Hospitalizations countywide: 2,240
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Jan. 5: 49, with 1,754 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 987, 753 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 47,953
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Jan. 30: 375
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Dec. 23: 78.6%
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Dec. 23: 75.1%