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San Diego County Won't Change Mask Guideline For COVID Delta Variant

Shoppers wearing masks at the Fashion Valley Mall food court in this file photo from Nov. 28, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
Shoppers wearing masks at the Fashion Valley Mall food court in this file photo from Nov. 28, 2020.

San Diego County will not change mask guidelines as a result of the delta variant of COVID-19, County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher announced Tuesday.

Los Angeles County public health officials on Monday "strongly" recommended that everyone wear masks in indoor public places due to rapid spread of the highly contagious virus mutation.

That county's Department of Public Health urged everyone -- regardless of vaccination status -- to wear masks in settings such as grocery or retail stores, theaters, family entertainment centers and workplaces when the vaccination status of other workers isn't known.

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Fletcher said San Diego County was not planning on taking similar action.

"We continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and in particular the Delta variant and want to emphasize the single best action you can take to protect yourself and your family is to be fully vaccinated," he said. "Almost 95% of our delta variant cases are from those not fully vaccinated. We will continue to align our public health guidance with CDC and (the state health department) and do not anticipate any changes."

County officials gave their last regularly scheduled COVID-19 update June 15, with any future briefings being provided as needed. Daily news releases with COVID-19 data will be replaced by a weekly news update on Wednesdays. Deaths and new infections will be updated daily, however.

As of Monday, the region's cumulative number of infections increased to 282,416 and the death toll climbed to 3,780.

Hospitalizations in the county related to the pandemic dropped by eight to 66 in last Wednesday's data. The number of COVID patients in intensive care units increased by five to 26. There were 58 staffed, available ICU beds in the county.

As of last Wednesday, a total of 2,182,024 people in the county had received at least one dose of vaccine.

Fully vaccinated residents numbered 1,861,261 -- 88.5% of a county-set goal of vaccinating 2,101,936 people 12 and older. That mark, based on 75% of April's population estimate for eligible age groups, is intended to reach community "herd immunity."

More than 4.32 million doses have been received by the county, with more than 4.05 million administered.

A full list of available vaccination sites can be found at www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/ 2019-nCoV/vaccines.html.

Of 7,944 tests reported by the county last Wednesday, 0.9% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average percentage of positive cases is 0.9%.