Health officials in Los Angeles strongly urged all residents to wear masks indoors in public spaces, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, over the rise of the coronavirus delta variant.
“With increase circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health strongly recommends everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public spaces as a precautionary measure,” read the statement from the County of Los Angeles Public Health.
“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,” the statement continued.
The statement from Public Health went on to make clear that experts are still gathering data from the variant in order to understand better what the risks are.
“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,” they added.
The new guidance appeared to be in line with a statement from the World Health Organization on Friday that called for increased social distancing, even from those who are vaccinated, to prevent the spread of the delta variant among the unvaccinated.
“Vaccine alone won’t stop community transmission,” said Dr. Mariangela Simao, a WHO official. “People need to continue to use masks consistently, be in ventilated spaces, hand hygiene … the physical distance, avoid crowding. This still continues to be extremely important.”