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1,144 New Positive Cases, 43 New Deaths Due to COVID in Los Angeles County

 

March 7, 2022

With updated masking guidance now in effect in LA County, Public Health continues to strongly recommend wearing masks indoors in public settings, particularly if you, or someone you live with, is at elevated risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Masks are still required while indoors at all schools until March 12, when masking indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students, staff, teachers, and visitors will be strongly recommended.  Masks are also required at all healthcare facilities, long-term care facilities, correctional and detention facilities, shelters, and on public transit.

While any mask is better than no mask, it is important to recognize that well-fitting respirators provide the most protection, especially for those at elevated risk. Respirators such as a N95, KN95 and KF94 are designed to filter out very small particles, with N95 and KN95 respirators filtering at least 95% of airborne particles and KF94s filtering at least 94%. Respirators that fit well and provide a tight seal on the face provide more protection than a cloth mask or a medical mask. They may be less comfortable because they fit more tightly. When choosing a respirator, residents should consider how well it fits and read the manufacturer instructions on how to wear, store, and clean or properly dispose of the respirator.

While well-fitting medical masks, also called surgical masks, provide less protection than respirators, they are better than cloth masks. The best medical masks have a nose wire and at least three layers of non-woven or spun bound fabric and melt-blown fabric, which are often made of polypropylene. Cloth masks without a filter or layer of synthetic non-woven material provide the least amount of protection. 

At all sites where masking indoors is no longer mandatory, employers are required to offer, for voluntary use, medical grade masks and respirators to employees working indoors in close contact with other workers, customers and/or members of the public. 

Note that Public Health may also require masking at businesses or worksites during an outbreak, as masking, along with other mitigation strategies, are effective in slowing outbreaks. For the week ending March 5, there were a total of 78 active outbreaks across non-healthcare, non-residential, non-educational settings in L.A. County. That represents a 45% decrease when compared to the week ending on February 26. 

Worksites are required to report clusters of three or more cases within 14 days to Public Health as part of a broader strategy to ensure workplace safety and protect employees. Worksites can report a cluster to DPH online or by phone at (888) 397-3993.

Workers who are concerned about possible COVID-19 or other workplace safety concerns, or that an employer may not be following the County Health Officer Order or other requirement, have several options for filing a complaint. To file a complaint with Public Health, which can be submitted anonymously, workers can call our Environmental Health Customer Call Center at (888) 700-9995 or by clicking on the “Report a Problem” at www.ph.lacounty.gov/eh. To file a complaint with Cal/OSHA about employee safety, workplace safety, or hazardous conditions, workers can call (833) 579-0927 or email the local Cal/OSHA Enforcement Office that serves the location of the job site.

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