Just a month after California’s uplifting at the state’s grand reopening last week, Los Angeles County officials announced that they would need masks again in public indoors.
The move, which took place in response to the explosive spread of the coronavirus delta mutant, was an emotional setback for Angelenos, who lived under severe pandemic restrictions for over a year.
We talked to the county’s director of public health, Barbara Ferrer, about her upcoming plans and why her office decided to return to forced indoor masking. This is our conversation. Lightly edited and summarized.
First, Dr. Ferrer, can you explain why you needed to do a mandate instead of continuing to teach Mask?You told my colleague a few weeks ago It was not intended to “return to a blockade or a more destructive order.” What has changed?
I think I start by saying that wearing a mask does not consider any destructive obligations. Some people may find it inconvenient, but it does not interfere with normal business processes.
More people were hoping that this recommendation would mask the interior. With the Delta variant, things have changed. I don’t think it will spike in the absence of the Delta variant.
Throughout, this department has made it very clear that it recommends indoor masking, as it has been seen in other countries using this variant.
Now that we know the details, we will require a mask indoors. This is consistent with how we have used the evidence at hand to mitigate the catastrophic effects of this virus.
We had more than 2,500 new cases today.. The positive rate of the test is 5.2%. All of these numbers reflect the actions and actions people took two weeks ago.
We urged people to wear masks indoors to avoid these large surges. But at least it will take a few more weeks before the benefits come to fruition.
What are you looking for in terms of being in a safe place to unmandate, if not masking guidance? How long do you think it will take?
That’s a great question. We made the decision when the community infection moved from a moderate level to a significant level. We are moving to popular communication.
I would like to return to a milder threshold for community infections, but at that point I will be comfortable.
This shows that many people have adhered to their masking obligations. However, vaccination of more people is the most effective way to reduce infection. Therefore, you will need both.
Do you think it will be a few weeks? Month? Several months?
It’s hard to say. This is the most infectious variant I have ever seen. It is a more infectious variant, which makes it more groundbreaking.
I would like to commend everyone who has been vaccinated here. This is 69 percent of people over the age of 12.
However, there are still about 4 million people left, including about 1.3 million because they are under 12 years old. In LA County, the number of vulnerable people is huge.
How much is it Indoor Masking Man Date Does it prevent the vaccinated person from getting sick, rather than preventing the virus from spreading among unvaccinated Angelenos?
I think it’s both. You don’t want many community infections because it leads to more mutations. As we saw in the Delta variant, the vaccine is very powerful but diminishing. However, life loss and the most serious health consequences are far more experienced by unvaccinated people.
Many of them are really scary. These are not just stubborn crazy people. Many cannot actually be vaccinated for health reasons before we fire people as completely irresponsible. We must all be dedicated to helping those who have concerns in order to make progress.
I think it will help if the FDA is complete Approve this vaccine.. It helps more private companies need vaccines, especially if they are servicing high-risk people.
Are you totally worried about undermining confidence in vaccines or public health authorities if people are told that they are much safer and that vaccination can bring them back to some sort of normal?
Thank you for that question. I wish life was simpler. Everyone wants to tell us one thing and keep it for five months, but the information we have is constantly changing. We all have to acknowledge the reality in which we live.
This is a new virus. We’re doing a kind of redo in the sense that every time a new explosion from a new variant occurs, we need to assess how it interacts with humans.
Many people are hanging in the optics. Remove the mask and show us that we are really safe again. That was never true. Absolutely, fully vaccinated people have far more protection, but we will continue to carry variants. That is our reality.
The best we can do is to get really transparent and good information about what the data is telling us when things start to change.
For records, LA County has always thought that people should continue to wear masks indoors.
Most of us who were vaccinated were not vaccinated to remove the mask. We were vaccinated to stay healthy and do what we love.
For example, if a company implements a vaccine check program, are there any plans to allow the company to remove the mask from its patrons?That’s a big part of why the state was deployed That digital vaccine card — To allow companies to do that, right?
I’m very open to understanding if there are alternatives.
Science needs to guide some of these decisions. If you are indoors in a room with a fully vaccinated person, the risk of getting sick or infecting others is very small, and everyone is vaccinated in the room. Not always.
In your home, in your own social environment, you have much less risk because you know people. But public places we don’t understand. But in the end, I want to wear these masks now, reduce community infections, and remove mask obligations from the table.
If this lasts longer than we want, we are open to discussing with the company and doing what makes sense.
For example, are there any points where it may be necessary to close the reopening concert hall?
I hope not to do so. You can’t explicitly remove anything from the table. However, an unusual situation must occur.
Perhaps we will work with the venue to require people to be tested or shown vaccinated.
Hopefully we haven’t seen us back in the blockade. Currently there is a vaccine. Last time there was no vaccine.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you are trying to get more people vaccinated?
There are 329 mobile teams this week. We continue to increase its mobile capacity. If you’re a business, if you’re a community provider, if you say “we have 10 people who might want it,” we’ll show up.
We make people visit door to door. We have a big initiative in the place of worship. We work with single healthcare providers to get through the vaccine approval process. It’s much easier to take your child or young teen to your provider for vaccination.
We are serious about hiring hourly workers and releasing employees to get vaccinated. If it’s the kind of employment you have, we encouraged it with a program to make up for lost wages. We have a Community Ambassador Program, a Student Ambassador Program, and a Parent Ambassador Program for people to talk to their friends and family.
We strive to give people access to good information. At this point, for many, I think it’s about relationships with the people they are informed about. One of the worst things we can do is throw unvaccinated people into the trash.
Social media wasn’t a friend in many ways. We talk to people Hear a lot of false information.. These are myths that have led us to our own lives.
Thank you for the frustration that fully vaccinated people have. But I think we need to be kind, grateful, understand and move forward. I think it’s a strategic question at this point.
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