Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials “strongly” recommended that residents mask up ahead of the holiday season.
Citing rising cases and new deaths, county health officer Dr. Muntu Davis advised in a Thursday media briefing that high-quality and well-fitting masks should be worn in public indoor spaces, on public transit, in homeless and emergency shelters and correctional and detention facilities.
In addition, masks remain required for people exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, at health care settings and congregate facilities and anywhere where it is required by the site.
The county cited a Nov. 9 Harvard University study it said highlights the importance of masking.
Also on Thursday, the department reported 1,949 new coronavirus cases and 10 new deaths.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the daily number of newly reported cases has spiked by nearly 70% from a month ago, though still shy of previous waves.
Reported case figures are likely to be an undercount, as many residents test at home or opt against testing.
In a briefing a week earlier, the county said it made sense to mask up as the holiday season approaches.
For the past few months, indoor masking has been a matter of personal preference unless individual businesses or locations chose to require them.
Health officials around the country have warned of a third winter COVID-19 surge as new variants continue to spread, and cautioned Americans to be up to date with their shots.