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COVID-19 numbers skyrocket once again


Mandatory masks unlikely this time

The COVID-19 crisis is bumping its way back to the community, although it has yet to become the crisis in 2020, it is once again on the rise. The Department of Public Health is firm on reminding employees to review measures and take extra preventative steps to ensure the risk of COVID-19 transmission is low. Within Los Angeles County, beginning on September 1st, Public Health opened 73 new COVID-19 outbreak investigations. This past summer saw a growing increase of COVID-19 with infections now spreading in schools and workplaces resulting in hospitalizations ticking up.

Throughout schools in Los Angeles County, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks. According to various media reports, the numbers rose 43% within the first week of September. During the most recent thirty-day period, Public Health received reports of 154 clusters at worksites. Generally, worksites are required to report three or more potential clusters relating to COVID-19 in a week-long period. If the investigation proves there is a traceable transmission then a manager will be assigned to the worksite to properly respond.

Additionally, there are several worksites in L.A. County experiencing active COVID-19 outbreak investigations. Locations include; the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, CBS Studio Center Stage 18, the L.A. City Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Street Services, the Westchester-Loyola Village Branch Library, the eighth floor of the L.A. County Department of Public Works headquarters, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, and the United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills. However, despite the growing concern, numbers have not significantly increased in terms of daily COVID-19 deaths.

Remedies for concerns include the standard rules and regulations that were put in place in 2020-but to varying degrees. Government-imposed COVID-19 vaccination requirements are now coming to an end. Federal officials ended a vaccine requirement for healthcare employees, as did L.A. County regarding their local requirements. There is consideration regarding authorizing an updated COVID-19 vaccination that is designed against a subvariant that was dominant earlier in the year. Experts have also emphasized that people should aim to be up-to-date on vaccines, especially older people. Most who are hospitalized for COVID-19 are older people who aren’t keeping current on vaccinations.

Employees who are exposed should be sure to wear a fitted mask for ten days and anyone who may have been exposed should test within 3-5 days of their latest contact with the individual.  Employers should inform all close contacts of their exposure within one business day of the case identification in a manner that does not reveal personal information related to the case.