If you have been lucky enough to escape infection previously and you’re not vaccinated, your luck is about to run out. — Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at Baylor College of Medicine
If you have been lucky enough to escape infection previously and you’re not vaccinated, your luck is about to run out. — Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at Baylor College of Medicine
Haunted by Past Virus Surges, California Leans on Masks and Vaccines
A new indoor mask requirement in Los Angeles County comes as new virus cases have nearly tripled statewide. Immunization rates, however, should keep any spike below past peaks.

Just four weeks into California’s push for a return to normalcy, health officials in the state’s most populous county announced that face masks would again be required indoors starting this weekend, the first major county in America to restore indoor masking requirements regardless of vaccination status.

Driven by the rise of the ultra-contagious Delta variant and pockets of low vaccination, the announcement, which affects more than 10 million Californians, led a wave of heightened health warnings in a state of 40 million people. It also reflected concern nationally that vaccine defiance, disinformation and the variant have been responsible for significant increases in coronavirus cases in Arkansas, Louisiana and elsewhere.

“This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said.

... Scientists say the some 160 million people across the country who are fully vaccinated are largely protected from the virus, including the Delta variant. But particularly in places like the South, where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the country, the risk of a fresh spike is serious, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert at Baylor College of Medicine. “If you have been lucky enough to escape infection previously and you’re not vaccinated, your luck is about to run out,” Dr. Hotez said.

... Fifty-one percent of Californians are fully vaccinated, well below the levels in some Northeastern states but above the national rate. Vaccines are free and available to anyone 12 or older. In Los Angeles County, where public health officials had already been recommending masks indoors, new cases have spiked more than 200 percent in the past two weeks, to more than 1,000 per day.


Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has described the Delta variant as “the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate Covid-19.” More than 63,000 Californians have died of the coronavirus. Fewer than 40 deaths statewide are being announced on most recent days, down from more than 500 a day during much of January.

At the University of California, President Michael V. Drake said in a letter to chancellors that the current research, both from medical studies and the university’s own infectious-disease experts, clearly pointed to the need for a vaccine mandate for anyone who was going to be on campus.

“Vaccination is by far the most effective way to prevent severe disease and death after exposure to the virus and to reduce spread of the disease to those who are not able, or not yet eligible, to receive the vaccine,” Dr. Drake, who is also a physician, wrote.

... “I cannot impress upon you more the power of getting vaccinated,” the governor told an audience this week in the working-class Los Angeles-area community of Bell Gardens. “If we want to extinguish this pandemic, this disease, we’ve got to get vaccinated. Period. Full stop.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/16/us/california-los-angeles-mask-mandate.html