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California Restores Mask Mandate; Cases Climb

Coronavirus cases in California have risen by almost 50% in the last two-and-a-half weeks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

To combat rising case rates, and slow the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants, the California Department of Public Health yesterday issued a statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces through January 15, 2022, regardless of vaccination status.

In Orange County alone, the OCHCA reported today 201 people currently hospitalized with coronavirus-related complications; 58 of whom are in the ICU.

That’s slightly up from 176 hospitalizations reported earlier this month.

BOOSTERS

The CDC has also expanded eligible populations for the Pfizer booster vaccine to include ages 16 to 17, meaning individuals 16 and older may receive a booster six months after completing their primary vaccination series.

“Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. 

The number of Orange County residents who have received their booster dose climbed to 681,959 as of Thursday, up from last week’s total of 595,803.

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