Los Angeles County has decided not to reinstitute its indoor mask mandate despite high levels of COVID-19 at the moment, though wearing masks indoors remains “highly recommended.” The decision comes as a response to COVID-19 transmission rates continuing to remain at alarming levels in the area.
“We remain in high,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer of the county’s COVID levels, while explaining that other indications were less worrisome. Ferrer said hospitalization rates were beginning to decline from high to medium community level. Nonetheless, “The continued high rate of transmission does call on us all to wear masks in indoor settings,” she recommended.
The cities of Beverly Hills, Long Beach, El Segundo and Pasadena had indicated they would not conform if a mandate would be reinstituted.
The Department of Public Health issued an order to drop its prior mask mandate in February.
Though the state of California continues to proceed without an indoor mask mandate, reinstating the practice on a local level has begun to be considered in certain areas, though Los Angeles was the only city where it appeared close to happening.
Previously, Los Angeles county’s department of public health had come under political pressure to align with the state’s guidelines of removing the indoor mask mandate. Barbara Ferrer, the director of the organization, had previously stated that she anticipated lifting the mask mandate across the board sometime in late March, but calls to end the requirement by members of the county’s Board of Supervisors led to the mandate being lifted weeks earlier than initially planned.