Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced Thursday that COVID case numbers have “doubled over the past few weeks.” It was the first press conference held by the department in months after a “relatively calm” summer.
Outbreaks have occurred at the DGA building on Sunset Blvd., Lionsgate offices in Santa Monica, Disney Feature Animation in Burbank and on the set of “The Masked Singer.” Lionsgate temporarily brought back mandatory masking, but lifted the requirement last Saturday.
While not reaching the same levels as last summer, the daily average number of cases in the Los Angeles area has jumped from 264 four weeks ago to approximately 571 for this week, health officials report.
Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said that the department is not yet calling for a reinstatement of masking mandates, the LA Times reported.
“There’s nothing that’s changed. We’re not announcing new safety measures today,” said Ferrer, although she added that she wouldn’t rule masking in the future.
“I’m never going to say there’s not going to be a time when we all need to put our masks back on. I am going to say we certainly don’t all need to put our masks back on now. We are at a place where people make their own assessment,” she said.
“We want everyone to enjoy this last weekend of the summer, and we think this can be easily done with some simple basic safety measures,” Ferrer added.
The CDC will review this year’s COVID vaccine on Sept. 12. It is designed to protect against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, which has been dubbed “Kraken.”
Both LA’s health department and the CDC still recommend wearing masks to reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization and death from the virus, but masking is not mandatory since President Biden officially ended the COVID emergency on May 11.
SAG-AFTRA also dropped their requirement for proof of vaccination on commercial shoots in May.