As much as everyone might want to get back to pre-pandemic life, the COVID-19 infection rate is ticking upward in many places. In California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are an average of roughly 19,000 new cases reported each day. The increase has prompted some officials in Los Angeles County to consider announcing new mitigation measures.
If the county reaches a high level of transmission as defined by the CDC, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbar Ferrer offered a glimpse of what locals can expect.
“Universal indoor masking would be implemented across L.A. County,” she confirmed.
Los Angeles isn’t the only city where cases are increasing at a concerning rate. In New York City, for example, there has been a 17 percent spike over the course of just two weeks. More than half of the latest cases are believed to be the Omicron subvariant BA.5, which experts say is more resistant to natural immunity and vaccines than prior variants.
Kaiser Health News Editor-at-Large Dr. Celine Gounder warned that even those who are fully vaccinated should not take their immunity for granted. Nevertheless, she urged those who have not gotten all their shots to do so without delay.
“There are early hints the BA.5 subvariant may be more virulent,” she said. “So, in other words, [it] may cause more severe disease.”