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Photo: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health this week asked residents to wear face masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated, due to a rise in coronavirus cases.

The state of play: County health officials said the Delta variant, first detected in India, is rapidly spreading across the county's unvaccinated population. Cases in the county have doubled and hospitalizations are up by 30%, the Los Angeles Times notes.

  • For Black residents, hospitalizations rose by 11% between May and June.
  • About 51% of county residents are fully vaccinated.

What they're saying: "We have enough risk and enough unvaccinated people for Delta to pose a threat to our recovery. And masking up now could help prevent a resurgence in transmission," said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, per the Times.

  • "This is a precautionary recommendation, given that we don’t have all the information we wish we had."
  • Ferrer pointed out that while vaccines are highly effective, there is "increasing evidence that a very small number of fully vaccinated individuals can become infected with the Delta variant and may be able to infect others."

The big picture: The rise in cases comes as more people question whether the vaccines can protect against variants. The CDC has doubled down on its own guidelines, saying that vaccinated individuals can unmask.

Go deeper: Delta variant threatens masking guidance

Go deeper

Oct 10, 2021 - Health

Fauci: Trick or treating safe for kids this year

Children receive treats by candy chutes while trick-or-treating for Halloween in New York City's Woodlawn Heights on Oct. 31, 2020. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Parents and kids can trick or treat outdoors safely this Halloween, especially if they are vaccinated, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Why it matters: During the program, Fauci noted that COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. are declining, calling it “good news."

Oct 10, 2021 - Health

Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager on Paqueta Island, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Photo: Maria Magdalena Arrellaga/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer will vaccinate all residents over the age of 12 in the Brazilian city of Toledo as part of a study measuring the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine, the company said in a statement.

Why it matters: Researchers in the study hope to monitor viral transmission in a real-life scenario after the population has been inoculated.

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops remain unvaccinated as deadlines near

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members remain unvaccinated ahead of the impending deadlines set by the individual service branches, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The deadlines for active-duty members are quickly approaching, and while the military's overall vaccination rate has increased, it is still shy of full compliance.