With COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rising amid the delta variant in L.A. County, the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center Thursday reported the highest number in months of police and fire department employees self-isolating at home.
Sixty-one police department employees are at home recovering from the virus and isolating due to exposure, and the total number of employees who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is 2,719. The EOC has not reported this many police department officers being home due to the virus since May 6, when 62 were self-isolating at home, according to the EOC.
The fire department currently has nine employees recovering from the virus or self-isolating at home due to the exposure, the most since the EOC reported 10 employees out of work on April 20.
On June 22, Police Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission that just 58% of LAPD employees have “had a full set of vaccines or have natural antibodies” from already having contracted the virus. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier that week that only 51% of firefighters and 52% of officers were at least partially vaccinated, while 64% of L.A. residents 16 years old and over were partially vaccinated.
With hospitalizations and infections rising for unvaccinated people in the county, residents will be required to wear masks again in indoor settings beginning Saturday night, regardless of their vaccination status.
On Thursday, the county reported 1,537 new infections, the highest number since early March. It was the seventh consecutive day of new case numbers that topped 1,000. Public Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said the rate of virus spread in the county has officially risen from moderate to substantial, with infections five times more likely among unvaccinated residents. The current seven-day average rate of daily new cases in the county is now at 7.1 cases per 100,000 residents, up from 4.8 just last week.
As a result, Davis said a revised county Health Officer Order will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, requiring people to wear masks in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. The county previously only recommended such mask-wearing in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and protect unvaccinated residents.