The rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in California in recent weeks has hit the Warner Bros. backlot, as the studio has reported 43 confirmed cases to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The Warner Studios in Burbank had one of the highest reported case counts on Tuesday among Los Angeles businesses, with other major outbreaks being reported at Dodger Stadium, the Smithfield Foods meatpacking plant in Vernon, Raytheon Technologies in El Segundo, and security and businesses at LAX and Burbank airports.
Warner Bros. confirmed the reported cases but declined further comment.
The current reported seven-day average in new COVID cases stands at 5,375 while Monday’s daily count exceeded 8,000 for the first time since the Omicron surge in January. But the actual number of infected Los Angeles residents is likely much higher due to the increased use of at-home tests that rarely get reported to county health officials.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said that the county could reinstate its mandatory mask mandate as early as July 29 if cases continue to rise. County protocols dictate that the mask mandate be reinstated if infection levels rise into what the CDC categorizes as “high” levels of community spread for more than two weeks, something that Los Angeles County is set to reach as early as Thursday.
“While we’re not seeing anywhere near the devastation this summer that we saw during last winter’s Omicron surge, we are seeing much higher case numbers than we saw during the peak of the Delta surge,” Ferrer said during an LA County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
Increases in COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths have not been as drastic as in past infection surges, but the hospitalization count has risen to 1,200 as of this week, with 115 in intensive care. The weekly count of COVID-19 deaths exceeded 100 in LA last week for the first time since April.