COVID: Pasadena health officials ‘strongly recommend’ masking
As COVID infections and deaths steadily increase this winter, the Pasadena Public Health Department now strongly recommends mask wearing in all indoor settings, officials announced Friday.
Everyone from 2 years old and up, regardless of vaccination status, is advised to wear a mask in indoor workplaces, indoor public spaces and on public transportation vehicles. Masking continues to be mandatory in health care environments.
This year from Jan. 2 to Dec. 19, Pasadena has logged over 21,000 COVID infections and 38,241 since the pandemic began, according to health department data on the city’s website. And while the current weekly average of 37 cases as of Dec. 19 is far below the peak of the winter surge 534 cases reported last January, health officials hope masking at work and holiday social gatherings will prevent another significant spike in new infectctions.
Because of emerging COVID variants that have infected a significant number of people in Pasadena and Los Angeles County, “the Pasadena Public Health Department is asking all residents to layer in sensible COVID-19 protections this holiday season, including indoor masking and getting vaccinated and boosted,” according to the city’s announcement.
“Everyone should wear a mask now to ensure they can enjoy the holidays with their families later,” Pasadena Health Officer Dr. Eric G. Handler said in a statement.
Pasadena’s updated order strongly recommending vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear a mask while indoors conforms with recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“With increased travel and large gatherings, masking and staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Manuel Carmona, interim public health director, said in a statement. “These basic precautions can help prevent increases in COVID-19 cases and avoid the need for mandatory masking in indoor workplaces, public settings, and public transit.”
Pasadena’s updated health orders also established threshold metrics to determine when the city imposes a mask mandate — over 200 daily infections per 100,000 residents, new hospital admissions for COVID exceeding 10% per 100,000 of the city’s population and less than 10% availability of staffed inpatient hospital beds, according to the city’s health department.
Pasadena health care facilities are significantly strained, according to the city.
“We are seeing increases in COVID-19 cases and local hospitalizations and unseasonably elevated levels of influenza infections that put our local residents at increased risk for severe illness and death,” Handler said.
The health department advised residents to take the following COVID-reducing precautions to slow transmission of the virus and other respiratory diseases:
–Wear a well-fitting respirator or mask such as N95, KN95 or KF94.
–Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, including all primary series doses and boosters, and getting a flu vaccine.
–Stay home when sick and follow recommended practices if exposed to COVID, including seeking treatment.
–Test for the virus if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
–Wash your hands regularly.
Updated Dec. 20, 2022, 9:02 p.m.