California Extends Mask Mandate

Amid a sharp rise in COVID infections and hospitalizations, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on Wednesday that it will extend the mask mandate for indoor spaces through at least February 15. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the state has reported an average of 54,695 new cases per day over the past week. 

According to CDPH, the number of COVID test results returning positive also have reached record levels—a seven-day rate of 21.3% as of Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the Omicron variant represents about 95% of cases nationwide, with Delta responsible for the rest.

The rate of hospitalizations has not increased to the same degree as cases, but the total patients hospitalized increased 69% during the week of December 27 and may overtake the highest patient count during last summer, which was 8,353 on August 31, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Some counties, including Orange, have reported patient counts higher than those during the Delta wave, the Times stated.

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