In Los Angeles County, where public health officials had already been recommending — but not requiring — masks indoors, new cases have spiked more than 200 percent in the past two weeks, to more than 1,000 daily. The reinstated masking requirement will take effect just before midnight on Saturday.
July 16, 2021, 4:59 a.m. ET
Elsewhere in the state, Sacramento and Yolo Counties also began recommending masks indoors this week. San Francisco officials on Thursday targeted a plea to Black and Latino residents to get vaccinated, noting that those groups were more than twice as likely to contract Covid-19 than the citywide population.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has described the Delta variant as “the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate Covid-19.” More than 63,000 Californians have died of the coronavirus. Fewer than 40 deaths statewide are being announced on most recent days, down from more than 500 a day during much of January.
At the 10-campus University of California system, President Michael V. Drake said in a letter to chancellors that the current research, both from medical studies and the university’s own infectious-disease experts, clearly pointed to the need for a vaccine mandate for anyone who was going to be on campus.
“Vaccination is by far the most effective way to prevent severe disease and death after exposure to the virus and to reduce spread of the disease to those who are not able, or not yet eligible, to receive the vaccine,” wrote Dr. Drake, who is also a physician.
The vaccine requirement will apply to students and employees alike, as well as participants in athletic and study-abroad programs, he said, and will be enforced even if the vaccines remain under emergency use authorization.
Students without approved vaccine exemptions will be barred from campus housing, events, facilities and classrooms, the policy noted. While there would be “limited exceptions, accommodations and deferrals,” not all classes will be offered remotely.