City expands masking requirement on public transit, transit hubs due to spikes in COVID cases – Reuters
Rising levels of COVID-19 rates in Los Angeles County pushed Long Beach from “low” to “medium” virus activity levels two weeks ago, prompting city officials to urge the public to re-use safety precautions such as wearing masks indoors and continue to get vaccinated.
Long Beach began reporting a steady rate of growth since the week of April 11. The city, which has its own health department, reported a major spike last week with nearly 1,600 new cases. Hospitalizations and deaths, however, remained low, with health officials attributing the results to the vaccine.
Earlier this week, department officials said they were not yet considering placing restrictions on the public, but growing cases and a seven-day case rate of 230 per 100,000, more triple what it was around April, which led officials to take the necessary precautions.
“I’m not going to water it down: We’re facing an uphill battle,” Health Department spokeswoman Jennifer Rice Epstein said this week, adding that the department criss-crosses neighborhoods across the city almost every day. to provide vaccines. “But the data is undisputed: People who get vaccinated and boosted are much less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19.”
In Long Beach, just under 69.7% of residents have been fully vaccinated against the virus, while just under 77% have received at least one dose.
Following the reassessment of the health order, people 2 years and older will be required to use a mask in any indoor area that serves as a transportation hub, as well as commuter trains, buses and rideshares, whether a person is vaccinated or not.
The department will reevaluate the masking requirement every 30 days, if seven-day case rates fall below 50 per 100,000 or if the CDC announces that people are no longer required to wear masks in transportation lanes. , whichever comes first, depending on the city.
“Until then, the City must continue to require community-level prevention strategies, including mask-wearing on public transit and in transportation hubs, to protect the most vulnerable in high-risk settings. and safeguard the healthcare system,” the city said in a statement. Friday. “Travelling on public transport increases the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 by bringing people into close contact with people outside their household, often for long periods of time and often in crowded environments.
COVID is rising again in Long Beach, but vaccines have reduced hospitalizations and deaths