According to a report issued yesterday by the Los Angeles County Department of Health, Los Angeles County is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. In just the past 4 weeks, there has been a twenty-fold increase from just 124 cases on June 21 to an average of more than 3,000 cases last week. The test positivity rate has also skyrocketed, from 0.7% a little more than a month ago to 6.2% this week, with a corresponding increase in the number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 since July 2, 2021.
The County’s Health Department has concluded that this increase is due to the more infectious Delta variant and the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, the Health Department suggests that the public take the following precautions in an effort to arrest the spread of the virus:
Get vaccinated. It is the best way to protect against COVID-19.
Wear a mask that fits. Your mask is one of the most powerful tools you have to protect yourself and others.
Avoid crowded places. Being in crowds, especially indoors puts you at a higher risk.
Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer often - especially after being in public spaces where surfaces are touched by many people. Avoid eating and touching your face with unwashed hands.
Stay home when sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, talk to a doctor and get a test, even if you are fully vaccinated. You should stay home and away from others until you get the result of your COVID-19 test or until your provider tells you that you don’t have COVID-19.
As a result of the increase in transmission and the rise of the Delta variant, the Health Office Order was modified last week to require masking for everyone while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. While there is ample proof that the vaccines remain our most powerful tool to reduce the spread of the virus, the County’s Health Officer is urging everyone to add additional layers of protection to slow transmission because the Delta variant is so much more infectious than any virus strain seen before. Not only is the Delta variant much easier to transmit to others, including those fully vaccinated, but along with this increase in community transmission, comes the threat of new mutations that may be even more dangerous than the Delta variants, says the County’s Health Officer. That is why the Health Officer, along with the Centers for Disease Control, is asking everyone to wear masks when indoors. Masks are an important additional layer of protection that will make it harder for there to be an unknowing transmission among both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.
We will continue to monitor major COVID-19 related developments that impact the workplace. If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at 818-508-3700 or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.
Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP