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Infection Rates On The Rise As Southern Californians Increasingly Neglect Social Distancing, Wearing Face Masks

VENTURA (CBSLA) — The continuing rise in coronavirus infections could put a halt to reopening plans in one Southern California county, while a debate about wearing face masks rages in another.

Primo Salon in Sherman Oaks is back open with prominent signs that let customers know that if they're not wearing a mask, they won't be able to get in.

no mask no entry
(credit: CBS)

"We are open now but we put up the sign for everybody to put the mask on, sanitize, and check the temperatures," Parvin Zandi said "And everybody, they have to. It's mandatory."

Cases of COVID-19 are up across Southern California. In Los Angeles County, the public health director repeated warnings that for reopened businesses to stay open, it is critical for everyone to follow safety regulations.

Meanwhile, in Orange County, a battle over whether face masks should be mandatory continues to rage, despite public health officials identifying face coverings as a reliable way to slow the spread of transmission.

In Ventura County, the first Southern California county to start reopening, hospitalizations have more than doubled since May. It's a worrisome trend that Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said has the opening of personal care businesses like nail salons and massage parlors "under review," even though the state has given the green light for these services to reopen.

Dr. Levin said that with restaurants, parks, and shopping malls now open in Ventura County, he has personally seen people in groups, not observing physical distancing guidelines, and it seems many feel social distancing is no longer necessary.

"I think it's more likely that this is the major contributor to our increasing numbers of hospitalized COVID patients," he said.

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