Los Angeles may be facing a fifth wave of the novel coronavirus as cases spike across the major U.S. city.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer acknowledged the surge while speaking with reporters Thursday, per Deadline.

  • “It’s troubling to continue to see a slight uptick in cases and now, obviously, no decline in our hospitalizations,” Ferrer said, per Deadline. “I think it’s too soon to say whether we’re in a fifth wave or not. We’re hoping at best it’s a small bump up and nothing near like last winter.”
  • She said it “takes all of us” to stop a coronavirus wave.
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Right now, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Los Angeles County’s transmission rate is 84 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to Patch.com. That’s up from somewhere in the mid-70s last week.

Colder weather may to be blame, Ferrer said, per Patch.com. The current conditions favor the spread of the coronavirus, especially as holiday gatherings begin to take place.

Ferrer said there’s a clear indication that COVID-19 has seasonality to it, meaning the virus will spread differently in all seasons. But it’s important to stay vigilant as we head into the winter months.

  • “We all lived through a devastating November/December last year,” said Ferrer. “We have to learn from past history to not move quickly when we see a slight downward trend, given that we’re moving into colder weather,” she said, according to Deadline.
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In order to slow the spread, mask mandates might last in Los Angeles County until 2022, Ferrer said, according to The Pasadena Star-News.

  • “I think, again, we’ve got to do what we know works — get more people vaccinated, wear our masks when we’re indoors, because, again, that’s a powerful way to prevent some transmission from happening,” she said.