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LA County to order return of masks on public transit, ride share & at LAX

The new health order will apply to trains, buses, taxis and ride-hailing services, as well as airports, bus terminals and train stations

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is issuing a new Health Officer Order to note that masking in all public transit within LA County and in LA County indoor transportation hubs continues to be required.

The new health order, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, will apply to trains, buses, taxis and ride-hailing services, as well as airports, bus terminals and train stations, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer told reporters during an online briefing on Thursday that the order is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s opinion that mask-wearing on transit remains an essential step in preventing spread of COVID-19.

“They are experts,” Ferrer said. “They made a determination that at this point having that requirement in place is necessary for the public’s health, and that resonates with us.”

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a Trump appointee in Tampa, Florida, had ruled that the CDC had exceeded its authority in issuing the mask-wearing mandate on the nation’s transportation systems and issued a nation-wide injunction.

The U.S. Department of Justice, at the request of the CDC, on Wednesday filed an appeal. The CDC issued a statement saying it continues to believe that requiring masks in indoor transportation settings “remains necessary for the public health.”

“CDC will continue to monitor public health conditions to determine whether such an order remains necessary,” a spokesperson for the CDC said in a statement. “CDC believes this is a lawful order, well within CDC’s legal authority to protect public health.”

In response to Judge Mizelle’s ruling, KABC 7 News reported that public transportation agencies across Los Angeles County announced that masks would become optional, including aboard Metrolink commuter trains and on Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and rail lines. Los Angeles International Airport and Hollywood Burbank Airport also announced that masks were optional.

In Thursday’s press conference, LA County Public Health’s Ferrer explained that she’s “really, really sorry” that the new county order will likely create confusion among residents feeling a sense of “whiplash” due to rapidly changing rules.

But she noted that the CDC never changed its recommendations regarding mask-wearing on public transit, and said the Florida court ruling was made by “a federal judge with little experience in public health” who questioned the CDC’s authority.

According to Public Health, given the rapid rise of the more infectious BA.2 subvariant, targeting public transportation is an absolute must as those settings are almost always crowded, putting people in cramped environments with sometimes-little to no ventilation, making them perfect breeding grounds to spread the virus.

While BA.2 is blamed for rising case numbers, those cases still have not led to a spike in hospitalizations due to the virus. In fact, hospitalizations have continued to trend downward. But Ferrer said that doesn’t diminish the risk of new and potentially more dangerous variants of the virus developing the more it circulates.

The virus “is still equated with significant illness for some people,” she said. “It still can cause, even for people who experience mild illness when the first get infected, it can still cause for a good percentage of people ‘long COVID.'”

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Los Angeles County

Heat Advisory issued as temps expected to be in triple digits

LA County will see hot & breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory warning for most of Southern California on Monday. Temperatures while remaining lower in the 80s and 70s in the coastal areas are expected to exceed triple-digits for most of the inland areas in the region.

Los Angeles and Orange counties will see hot and breezy conditions Monday. High temperatures will reach 90 degrees. Temperatures at night will fall to 64 degrees.

The valleys and Inland Empire will be very hot and windy Monday as temperatures soar to 105 degrees. Evening temperatures will drop to 72 degrees.

Beaches will see temperatures rising to 78 degrees amid breezy conditions on Monday. Overnight lows will dip to 64 degrees.

Look for a 20% chance of thunderstorms in the mountain communities on Monday, with temperatures reaching a high of 89 degrees. Temperatures will fall to 55 degrees at night.

Desert conditions will be sunny and windy on Monday, with temperatures expected to rise to 104 degrees. Nighttime temperatures will drop to 69 degrees.

Detailed Forecast

Today

Sunny and hot, with a high near 106. East northeast wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 69. Northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east northeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Tuesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 104. Southeast wind around 10 mph becoming northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.

Tuesday Night

Clear, with a low around 68. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east southeast after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday

Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. East southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming west 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night

Clear, with a low around 62. Breezy.

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 94.

Thursday Night

Clear, with a low around 58.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 92.

Friday Night

Clear, with a low around 57.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 90.

Saturday Night

Clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 89.

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Los Angeles County

LA County Public Health confirms community transmission of Monkeypox 

Public Health is offering the JYNNEOS vaccine in a targeted manner to reach individuals at higher risk of monkeypox

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Monkeypox virus (Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed local transmission of monkeypox in LA County, as some of the more recent of the 22 cases of monkeypox in LA County thus far have no history of international or out-of-state travel. There have been no hospitalizations or deaths.   

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, but some of the recent cases identified have been among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who attended large events where the exposure to monkeypox may have occurred. Public Health is working with event organizers to notify attendees of potential exposure.  

While supplies of monkeypox vaccine are limited, Public Health is offering the JYNNEOS vaccine in a targeted manner to reach individuals at higher risk of monkeypox.  This includes people who are known close contacts to someone diagnosed with monkeypox and individuals who attended an event where they may have had skin-to-skin contact with someone who later tested positive for monkeypox virus. The vaccine is being used in these cases to reduce the risk of developing monkeypox.

As vaccine supply increases, Public Health will focus on making the monkeypox vaccine available for other high-risk groups in efforts to prevent widespread community transmission.   

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people.  The spread of monkeypox from person to person can occur through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (like clothing or linens), or through prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets. Because of this, transmission may also occur during sex through skin-to-skin and other intimate contact.

LA County encourages persons who experience symptoms consistent with monkeypox (such as characteristic rashes or lesions), persons who traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported or persons who have had close contact, including sexual contact, with someone who has a similar rash or received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed monkeypox, to contact their health care provider for a risk assessment. Those who do not have a regular provider should call 2-1-1 for assistance. 

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Los Angeles County

NBC News: LA’s DA Gascon under pressure from rising violent crimes

Violent crime is spiking in the streets of Los Angeles as robberies in broad daylight, heists on train tracks and homicides are on the rise

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Screenshot/YouTube NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt

LOS ANGELES – (NBC Nightly News) – Violent crime is spiking in the streets of Los Angeles as robberies in broad daylight, heists on train tracks and homicides are on the rise. Many long-time residents are more worried than ever. LA District Attorney George Gascon took office in late 2020, riding a wave of support for criminal justice reform but now, that support seems to have eroded as the crime surge continues.

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