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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

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

More than 100 Polk County absentee ballot requests rejected

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At least 130 Polk County voters submitted absentee ballot requests via mail after Monday's 5pm deadline, according to a county auditor's report provided to Axios by Polk County Democrats.

Why it matters: The Nov. 2 elections mark the first time voters head to the polls since Gov. Kim Reynolds signed new voting rules into law.

  • Shorter timeframes and far more restrictive rules could make it harder for communities of color, individuals with disabilities and elderly voters to cast ballots, groups like LULAC Iowa argue.