Ferrer Addresses Changing COVID Restrictions

As California hits an important milestone of 80% of residents reporting having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the rate of infections from the Delta variant continues its slow decline. Still, Los Angeles is not out of the woods from the Delta variant-driven surge that began in the summer, with another 38 fatalities reported Wednesday, along with an additional 2,277 cases of COVID-19.

 Los Angeles County lags behind the state as a whole, with 74% of residents having received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data compiled by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health). Beverly Hills, in contrast, tracks slightly ahead of the state average, with 81% of eligible residents injected with at least one dose of the vaccine.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged on Aug. 31 that fluctuating rules and guidelines surrounding the coronavirus have confused just as much as clarified how to stay safe during the pandemic. The confusion seems to have played into a growing movement of vaccine skepticism and outright opposition. “Over the last few weeks and months, as we have issued revisions and modifications to guidelines that affect so many aspects of our lives, we’ve heard from people all over our L.A. County community who are frustrated by the changes in our guidance, and sometimes confused by recommendations that seem to contradict their expectations or interfere with what they were hoping would be a return to a more normal way of life,” she said.

While the tightening of restrictions after the brief respite of the spring came across as capricious to some, Ferrer emphasized the dynamic nature of our understanding of COVID-19 and of the virus itself. “The reality is that the recent changes we make to our guidance are all tied to the Delta variant, which changed what we know about COVID-19,” she said. “And as the science on COVID-19 has changed, we have been forced to adapt our guidance on how we keep each other safe. We will continue to follow the science and the data in the guidance we create to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, and when we need to make changes, we will do our best to explain why.” 

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