Mask mandate returns in Los Angeles County

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LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Los Angeles County is reinstating its indoor mask mandate for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Los Angeles County’s public health officer says a rapid and sustained increase in COVID-19 cases in the nation’s largest county requires a return to mandatory mask-wearing.

Dr. Muntu Davis told a virtual press conference Thursday that a public health order requiring masks indoors will go into effect Saturday. He didn’t detail what he said would be some exceptions.

Davis says the county has been recording more than 1,000 new cases each day for a week and that there is now “substantial community transmission.”

This comes after 59 people at a Northern California homeless shelter tested positive for COVID-19, and 28 of them were vaccinated.

Of the 59 people with confirmed infections at Samuel L. Jones Hall in Sonoma County, nine were hospitalized, including six who were fully vaccinated and had “multiple, significant” underlying health conditions, including diabetes and pulmonary disease, health officials said. Four have since been discharged and five remain hospitalized.

Officials said that fewer than half of the 153 residents had received at least partial vaccination and they do not know whether the outbreak started with a vaccinated or unvaccinated resident.

So-called breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated Americans are rare, but not unheard of. Multiple vaccinated players on the New York Yankees tested positive earlier this year, and the team is experiencing another outbreak.

Studies have shown that all three vaccines available in the U.S. reduce the risk of severe disease and death.

This is a breaking news update. Check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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