LA COUNTY has ordered everyone to wear Covid masks and the nurses union has demanded the CDC urge universal masking as the Delta variant surges.
The move by Los Angeles to reinstate mask mandates comes just a month after California lifted all Covid-19 restrictions in public areas.
Since restrictions were lifted on June 15, the county has seen a steep increase in Covid cases, likely linked to the more contagious Delta variant.
Starting Saturday, LA residents will be required to mask up in public once again, regardless of vaccination status.
Not all restrictions are coming back; people in LA will still be permitted to dine indoors but will need to mask up when they're not at their table eating.
When California opened back up in mid-June, LA County averaged 173 new coronavirus cases per day, according to The LA Times.
For the seven-day period that ended Wednesday, the average was up to 1,077 cases.
NURSE UNION WANTS MASKS BACK
LA's step back comes at the nation's largest union for registered nurses has written a letter urging the CDC to reinstate universal masking recommendations regardless of vaccination status.
The letter from National Nurses United addressed to CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky, stressed that the pandemic is "far from over."
"Our suggestions are based on science and the precautionary principle and are made in order to protect nurses, other essential workers, patients, and the public from Covid-19," the letter said.
It went on to point out the rise in cases following "the rapid reopening of many states and the removal of public health measures."
The nurse union specifically cited the CDC's May 13 recommendation update that said vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks, social distance, or avoid crowds.
In the letter, the union specifically asked the CDC to reinstate the recommendation that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks in public, update guidance to recognize the virus can spread through aerosols, require transparent tracking of Covid among healthcare and other essential workers, and track infections in people who are fully vaccinated.
"The pandemic is not over, and the United States once again stands on the precipice of rising cases," the letter said.
"Nurses and health care workers stand ready to care for the sickest patients and to be a crucial part of the pandemic response.
"But our members need safe workplaces in order to ensure the safety of their patients and communities."
The CDC hasn't indicated plans to reinstate previous mask recommendations yet.
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