In light of rising COVID-19 cases, Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer has stated that she cannot rule out the possibility of future mask mandates. Despite the current absence of a strict mask requirement, Ferrer emphasized the importance of individual responsibility in assessing personal and familial risk.
During a media briefing, Ferrer explained, “[If] there’s a lot of spread or a potential for a lot of spread, masks are generally required.” She also noted that during periods of more outbreaks, more places have been instructed to require their employees to wear masks.
When asked about mandatory masking in schools, Ferrer responded, “‘Ever’ is not a word I’m comfortable with. Everyone knows that I think by now that there’s no place with that level of certainty with this pandemic.” She added, “I’m not going to say there’s never going to be a time where we might need to all put our masks back on. I am going to say we certainly don’t all need to put our masks back on now.”
As per the county’s public health data, Los Angeles County is currently averaging 571 COVID-19 cases per week and one death. Interestingly, since February 2022, over half of all hospitalized COVID-19 cases in the county have been identified through “incidental” detection, meaning the patient was admitted to the hospital for a different reason but tested positive for COVID-19 during their stay.