Los Angeles County on Friday reinstated its COVID-19 mask requirement for passengers on public transit including those on buses, taxis, trains and using ride-hailing services.
The order will also again require masks at all indoor, public transportation hubs such as airports and bus terminals, according to City News Service.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday the order is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance that mask-wearing on public, mass transit remains an essential step in preventing the spread of the virus.
A federal judge in Florida earlier this week struck down the federal mandate for mask wearing on mass transit including airplanes.
Ferrer also said the county still has “a lot of transmission” of COVID and the virus’ infectious BA.2 subvariant is continuing to spread – representing 84% of all local cases that undergo special testing to identify variants.
A pair of offshoot “sublineages” of BA.2 have now also been identified, one of which has already been linked to “significant spread” of cases in parts of New York, City News Service also reports.
While BA.2 is blamed for rising case numbers, the cases still have not led to a spike in hospitalizations.
Ferrer said the county’s seven-day average daily number of new cases is now 1,261, compared to 1,017 the previous week. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.8%.