PASADENA, Calif.—The City of Pasadena health officer has issued an updated health order, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 22, 2021, reinstating the use of masks for everyone in indoor public settings and businesses, regardless of vaccination status. The mandate comes as both Pasadena and Los Angeles County have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Since June 15, when most restrictions from the state were lifted, the average daily incident case rate of COVID-19 in the City of Pasadena has increased by 586% to reach the “Substantial Transmission” level of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Indicators for Level of Community Transmission. The testing positivity rate in Pasadena has also risen to the “Substantial Transmission” level. In Los Angeles County where a large proportion of the people who work, visit, or patronize businesses in Pasadena reside, the rate of COVID-19 cases has increased to the “High Transmission” level, introducing even greater risk of transmission in Pasadena. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 both locally and throughout Los Angeles County have more than doubled.
In addition, the significantly more transmissible Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has become the predominant strain in the U.S. and has been detected in specimens collected from Pasadena residents with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, from multiple unrelated households. Recent real-world evidence supports research findings that suggest authorized vaccines are highly protective against hospitalization and death from infection with the Delta variant, and people who are fully vaccinated are much less likely to be contagious or transmit the virus to someone else. However, data are still being gathered and analyzed for additional clarity on rates of infection among fully vaccinated individuals and their role in transmission, which is an important reason for everyone to mask indoors right now.
In considering options to stem this rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, a continued increase in the vaccination rate is paramount, but additional measures are needed. Universal indoor masking is the least disruptive and most effective additional measure to take. All individuals, especially those who are unvaccinated or at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, should take personal measures to reduce risk in addition to masking.
“Everyone who is eligible should get vaccinated as soon as possible. Currently authorized vaccines have proven effective at preventing severe outcomes from the virus causing COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to help stop COVID-19 spread, especially as we prepare to welcome our school-aged children back to full-time, in-person learning in just a few weeks,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, health officer and director of the Pasadena Public Health Department. “The vaccines are safe, effective, and are available at no cost to you.”
The new health order, available at www.cityofpasadena.net/covid-19 later today, will require face coverings for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings and businesses.
Examples of these settings include but are not limited to:
- Grocery stores
- Restaurants, bars, pubs and breweries when not eating or drinking
- Gyms and fitness centers
- State and local government offices serving the public
Businesses, individuals and venue operators or hosts of public indoor settings must require patrons to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, and post signage at entry points communicating the masking requirement for all patrons.
Private gatherings are not subject to masking requirements and at this time, no capacity restrictions or changes to other business operations are included in the health order. The California Department of Public Health requires indoor masking for all everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in K-12 school settings. The longer you wait to get vaccinated, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19, and infecting a friend, loved one, or coworker.
COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost. People age 12 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. For more information and to register for an appointment, visit MyTurn.ca.gov or www.cityofpasadena.net/public-health/covid-19-vaccine/#vaccination-sites.