L.A. County won’t reinstate indoor mask mandate as cases, hospitalizations see downward trend

Los Angeles County won’t impose an indoor mask mandate until after COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases appear to be trending down. The region could soon move back into the “medium”Officials announced Thursday that the virus was spreading at the community level.

Instead, public health professionals will recommend staying indoors.

Ferrer stated that there are fewer new cases and hospitalizations, and that the daily rate of regional cases has stabilized.

“It will be a welcome relief if this current surge has peaked,”She said.

County Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned the public that the county had entered the high-level on July 14. This was to prevent the spread of the disease.

L.A. County is still in existence “high” community level based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s indicator, Ferrer said local officials will wait to further analyze data based on its own, more current, metrics.

“Since most of our local data trends have just begun to decline, we decided to take a closer look at the hospital admissions rate using our own data … so that we can get a more precise sense of where we might be headed,” Ferrer said Thursday.

Ferrer expressed hope that, due to declining hospitalizations and case numbers, the county would move back down into the less populated category. Given this trend, county officials decided to abandon the universal indoor masking requirement.

“We will be pausing and not moving forward at this time,”Ferrer was explicit.

There was much controversy surrounding the threat of a return to the mandate. Many cities, including Pasadena and Long Beach, as well as El Segundo, have announced that they will not enforce any mandate.

A second member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors indicated their opposition to the reinstitution of a regional mask mandate.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger stated this in an open letter “masking mandates lack empirical evidence to back their effectiveness, are unenforceable, polarizing, and take a huge toll on the social-emotional well-being of children and youth.”

Supervisor Janice Hahn stated the same thing. She would rather align herself with the state by strongly recommending masks, while not requiring them indoors.  

Barger stated that she was pleased with the outcome of the announcement. “pleased”The mandate was not renewed.

“I’m hopeful that we will now be able to move on from this heightened focus on masking mandates to what really matters – focusing on promoting the efficacy of vaccines and boosters, improving access to COVID-19 treatments, and continuing to educate our County’s residents on the benefits of masking,”Barger said. “I am comfortable leaving this decision in the public’s very capable hands.”

L.A. County had reported 7,009 new cases as of Thursday afternoon and 18 deaths.

For anyone over 2 years, masking indoors at these locations is mandatory:

  • Health care settings
  • Transport hubs and public transit
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Shelters and cooling centres
  • Correctional facilities
  • If required by an employer or business
  • Workplace Outbreaks
  • Within the first 10 days following a COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis

Click here to find out more about masking in L.A. County.


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