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UNIVERSAL INDOOR MASKING ORDER ISSUED FOR IMPERIAL COUNTY

-Editorial

The Imperial County Health Officer has issued a universal indoor masking order, requiring the use of face coverings regardless of vaccine status. 

The goal of the order is to protect our community and local healthcare system from a major resurgence of COVID-19 cases and to allow businesses and services in Imperial County to remain open. Under the new order, Imperial County residents and visitors are required to wear face coverings in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and workplaces, such as but not limited to offices, retail stores, restaurants and bars, theaters, family entertainment centers, conference centers, and government offices. 

The order is in addition to the state health officer order that requires face coverings for all individuals in public transit, indoor K-12 schools, childcare settings, emergency shelters, cooling centers, healthcare settings, correctional facilities and detention centers, and homeless shelters, and also requires face coverings for all unvaccinated individuals in any indoor public settings. The local health officer order goes into effect Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 12:00 am. The full health officer order is available on the ICPHD website.

The local universal masking order is in response to a recent rise in local, statewide, and national COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the Delta variant. This action aligns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines and orders. The 7-day average cases per 100k for Imperial County is currently 12.3, an increase from 9.5 reported last week. Additionally, 24 more cases of the Delta variant have been identified in the last week, bringing the cumulative total to 46 Delta cases identified in Imperial County. San Diego and Riverside are currently experiencing sharp increases in case counts as well.

“The continued rise in cases is of utmost concern, particularly in our neighboring counties who help support our local healthcare system,” stated Dr. Stephen Munday, Imperial County Health

Officer. “Out of an abundance of caution, indoor face covering is being required as a simple, effective way to help us slow the spread of COVID-19 and to help reduce the number of preventable hospitalizations and deaths in our community. I am grateful to the more than 70% of Imperial County residents 12 and older who are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All eligible Imperial County residents who have not yet been vaccinated are urged to do so to protect themselves and their families and friends.”

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