Letter to the Editor: Will Increased Covid Cases in OC Require Masks?

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In light of the latest mask mandate being declared in Los Angeles County, it will be interesting to see what will transpire in Orange County.

With its reputation of resistance to official mandates, I don’t see the County, particularly the areas of most resistance to government mandates, accepting the news calmly in the case that mandates are required here.

In Los Angeles County, the largest county in the country, the infection rate on the day that the county was re-opened, June 15, went from an average of 173 new coronaviruses a day to the most recent seven-day period that ended this week with 1,077 new cases—a dramatic increase.

In Orange County the daily case average has more than doubled since June 15. Those against mandating face masks will argue that individuals who have been vaccinated deserve the right to be mask-free. And they will say, rightly so, that it is the unvaccinated who are driving up the statistics.

Three things to keep in mind, however:

  1. We have no public control over those who are unvaccinated to make them wear masks.
  2. Beach cities like Newport Beach and Huntington Beach are not islands unto themselves. Particularly during summer, there is a huge influx of tourists coming from places having lower vaccination rates than Newport Beach and Huntington Beach.
  3. As long as the infection rates remain high and vaccination rates low, there is the strong possibility that other variants like the Delta strain will emerge, and they may be ones that cannot be restrained by our present vaccinations.

Let’s hope that Orange County learned something this year about more effective COVID management, and will comply with any new mandates devised to save lives.

Lynn Lorenz / Newport Beach

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