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A crowd of people, some wearing face masks, walk through the streets of Solvang, California. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Los Angeles County will again require residents to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination statues starting this Sunday because of recent increases in new coronavirus cases and rising concerns over the Delta variant of the virus.

Why it matters: The latest order in the most populous county in the United States comes after it reported 1,537 new COVID cases, an 83% increase over the last week.

What they're saying: Though the county will allow some exceptions to the order, the masking requirements will be similar to what they were before California officially reopened in June, Muntu Davis, the county's health officer, said Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

  • "We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late given what we’re seeing now," Davis said.

Zoom out: Local health officials in Sacramento and Yolo counties also called for residents to wear masks indoors, though neither are mandatory.

What to watch: Davis expects the latest order to remain "in place until we begin to see improvements” in community transmission," according to the Times.

  • "Anything is on the table if things continue to get worse, which is why we want to take action now," Davis added.
  • He said further restrictions could be implemented if conditions worsen.

Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up — Team USA to mandate vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls — U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world.
  2. Health: Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Sep 23, 2021 - Health

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Florida. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo: James D. Morgan via Getty Images

United Airlines said Wednesday that over 97% of its U.S.-based employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a company memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: United announced in August that it would require its 67,000 U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated by Sept. 27 or face termination. It's one of several airlines that set vaccine requirements even before President Biden issued his own vaccine mandate for employers with over 100 workers.