Cities and counties throughout the United States are considering reinstating mask mandates as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.
In Los Angeles County, 8,091 new infections were reported on Friday, the latest date for which data is available, according to the Department of Public Health. This is an increase of 50% from the 5,391 cases recorded at the beginning of the month.
Experts have said the increase is due to BA.5, a highly contagious offshoot of the omicron variant that is better at evading immunity — at least partially — from both vaccines and previous infections.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, more cities are considering the return of mask mandates.