New mask mandate unfortunate but necessary, Los Angeles official says

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A Los Angeles County official said Sunday she's not pleased the county had to once again require masks in indoor settings but deemed it necessary.

“I would say that it's not punishment, it's prevention,” said Hilda Solis, the chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “We still have 4 million people out of 10 million that haven't been vaccinated.”

Speaking to host Martha Raddatz on ABC's “This Week,” Solis said, “We as responsible adults should be taking a proactive approach and making sure that we mask up.”

Los Angeles County, like many parts of the nation, has seen a steep rise in Covid cases in recent weeks, mostly attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant. The vast majority of the cases have been reported among people who have not been vaccinated, particularly the ones that have led to hospitalization and death.

Under the order in Los Angeles County, masks are required in all indoor settings, except when eating or drinking. Approximately 52 percent of the county's population is fully vaccinated, but the order doesn't distinguish between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.

Solis said the county's goal is still to get as many people as possible vaccinated.

“I'm not pleased that we have to go back to using the masks in this manner, but, nonetheless, it's going to save lives,” Solis said. “And right now, that to me, is what's most important. And really getting more people to understand that they have to get vaccinated.”

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