Following the lead of Los Angeles County, Pasadena will soon require people to once again wear face masks in indoor public settings in the city, to guard against the spread of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
The city announced the decision on Monday night.
Meanwhile, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said city employees will also be required to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, but that no further details were immediately available, ABC7 reported. That would make Pasadena the first city in Southern California to require all city workers get vaccinated.
“Due to significant increase in case rates over the past 3 weeks, Pasadena Public Health Dept. Director and Health Officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh will issue a Health Officer Order requiring face masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, in public settings and businesses,” the city tweeted Monday night.
“The order will be finalized and posted this week. While Pasadena’s case rates were lower than LA County’s last week, weekend case rates continued to climb.”
Pasadena, like the city of Long Beach, has its own health department that operates independently from the county health department.
The city previously had only recommended face masks in indoor public settings.
According to Pasadena’s Monday announcement, “Pasadena now meets the CDC’s definition of `substantial transmission’ of COVID19. Dr. Goh continues to urge the public to #GetVaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and available at no cost.”
City health officials reported 51 new infections between Saturday and Monday, but no additional deaths. In all, Pasadena has reported 11,558 cases of COVID-19 and 351 deaths. On average, Pasadena has recorded 14.4 new infections each day over the past week, Pasadena Now reported.
Long Beach announced Thursday night it will align with the county and also require indoor mask wearing for all.
Rising case numbers prompted L.A. County late Saturday night to re-institute a requirement that everyone wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
The mandate means customers are again required to mask up when entering any indoor public establishment, including retail shops, grocery stores, restaurants and workplaces. Indoor dining remains open, but customers must remain masked while they are not eating or drinking.
County health officials continue to blame the current surge in infections to the highly contagious “Delta” variant of the virus through the unvaccinated population. There are nearly 4 million county residents who have not been vaccinated, including 1.3 million children who are ineligible for the shots.
Monday, the county Department of Public Health announced 1,233 new COVID infections, bringing the county’s cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 1,269,090. Two more fatalities were also reported Monday, lifting the county’s death toll to 24,585.
According to state figures, there were 544 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19 as of Monday, with 121 people in intensive care units. The hospitalization numbers have been slowly but steadily climbing for several weeks. On Sunday, there were 528 people hospitalized, with 112 in intensive care.
The numbers are still well below the roughly 8,000 people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 during the winter surge of cases. The current number, however, is double the 218 hospitalizations reported on June 15, when COVID restrictions were largely lifted statewide.