LA County Starts to Lift Mask Requirements


Maryam Sadeghifard, Staff Writer

With the decline in COVID cases, Los Angeles (LA) County is taking its first step toward lifting mandates. Mask requirements in LA have been very strict, requiring all to wear masks when inside any facility and not allowing entrance to grocery stores or other places if you do not comply. 

On Nov. 4, LA County Public Health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer explained the criteria that those in LA county must take for this mandate to be lifted on large outdoor events and indoor events with less than 1,000 people. In order for the mandate to be lifted on these gatherings, we first must have 3 weeks with moderate virus transmission as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That means it must have a cumulative seven-day new case rate of less than 50 per 100,000 residents.” reported CBS.

At this current time, LA County is at 83 per 100,000 residents in COVID cases. In an estimate given it states by Nov. of next year the mask mandate for this given criteria will be reached. The other criteria which needs to be met involve low hospitalization numbers, full vaccination rate of those 12 and older, and no news of new variants that could potentially cause more havoc.

Even if the criteria is met, in indoor settings all that are present must be fully vaccinated with proof; there must be a vaccination verification system set in place. These strict guidelines ensure a safer future for the upcoming years. 

“As of Oct. 28, 80% of county residents aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 72% are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Ferrer.

Going at this rate of vaccinations, it is hopeful that by the time winter holidays arrive, there is a possibility of reaching 80% full vaccination rates for those 12 and up due to the dropped hospitalization rates in LA County since summer. 

As of now, mask mandates are still required throughout the county, vaccinated or not, and in restaurants or venues. Masks can only be taken off when eating or drinking. There have also been other mandates instituted on Nov. 6, which states those who enter bars, breweries, etc. must be fully vaccinated to be admitted. This change does not affect high schoolers, but reinforces a safer environment.

The most recent mandate that will be taking place is on Nov. 8, where the vaccination mandate will be taken into effect in LA. Proof of full vaccination will be required to enter businesses, gyms, theatres, etc.  

Hopefully, by next year, considering the current mandates put in place in LA County along with the new mandate taking place on Nov. 8, the mask mandate will slowly be lifted. As long as strict mandates, such as these are taken seriously, Dr. Ferrer suggests it will be likely to be lifted with time.


Graphic courtesy of PIXABAY.COM