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As Delta Variant Circulates, LA County Public Health: Everyone Mask Indoors

Los Angels County -- Los Angeles County Publice Health For Immediate Release: June 28, 2021

As Delta Variant Circulates, Public Health Recommends Masking Indoors as a Precaution - 3 New Deaths and 259 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County
With increase circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) strongly recommends everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places as a precautionary measure. In the week ending June 12, Delta variants comprised of nearly half of all variants sequenced in Los Angeles County. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that Delta variants are now responsible for about one in every five new infections across the country, up from approximately one in every 10 the week before.

Public Health strongly recommends people wear masks indoors in settings such as grocery or retail stores; theaters and family entertainment centers, and workplaces when you don't know everyone's vaccination status. Until we better understand how and to who the Delta variant is spreading, everyone should focus on maximum protection with minimum interruption to routine as all businesses operate without other restrictions, like physical distancing and capacity limits.

Fully vaccinated people appear to be well protected from infections with Delta variants, however people with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna are not as well-protected. The smaller number of COVID-19 infections identified in people who are fully vaccinated have been mild illnesses.

For masks to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, your mask is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect yourself and other unvaccinated people. This is especially true when you are in an indoor or crowded outdoor space. If you are not fully vaccinated and work in a setting where you have sustained close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown, consider wearing a respirator for additional protection.

Public Health has confirmed 3 new deaths and 259 new cases of COVID-19. The number of cases and deaths are likely to reflect reporting delays over the weekend. Of the three new deaths reported today, one person that passed away was between the ages of 65 and 79, one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64, and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49.

To date, Public Health identified 1,249,560 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,480 deaths. There are 238 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 7,013,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive. Today's daily test positivity rate is 0.9%.

"We send our deepest condolences to everyone who is mourning a loved one or friend who has passed away from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “While COVID-19 vaccine provides very effective protection preventing hospitalizations and deaths against the Delta variant, the strain is proving to be more transmissible and is expected to become more prevalent. Mask wearing remains an effective tool for reducing transmission, especially indoors where the virus may be easily spread through inhalation of aerosols emitted by an infected person.”

Through Thursday, July 1 at County-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get a vaccine will have an opportunity to win one of two packages, each containing season passes to Six Flags, the LA Zoo, the Natural History Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, and ticket packs to the California Science Center. Official rules and participating site locations are posted online on the Los Angeles Vaccination Sweepstakes page. Winners will be contacted by phone and/or email.

Through Thursday, July 1 at County-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get a vaccine will have an opportunity to win one of two packages, each containing season passes to Six Flags, the LA Zoo, the Natural History Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits, and ticket packs to the California Science Center. Official rules and participating site locations are posted online on the Los Angeles Vaccination Sweepstakes page. Winners will be contacted by phone and/or email.

Anyone 12 and older living or working in L.A. County can get vaccinated. To find a vaccination site near you, to make an appointment at vaccination sites, and much more, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home-visit if you are homebound. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.

COVID-19 Sector Protocols, Best Practices, COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Recovery Dashboard, and additional actions you can take to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

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