Los Angeles County Requires Masks Indoors Amid Climbing Coronavirus Cases

California has experienced a steady rise in COVID-19 cases since the state fully reopened its economy on June 15, eliminating capacity limits and social distancing requirements. To reverse the latest spikes in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Los Angeles County reinstated a universal indoor mask mandate on July 22, 2021.

The latest public health order aligns with updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. However, customers or guests at public indoor settings, such as restaurants, are permitted to actively eat and drink without wearing a mask.

Here are highlights from the order:

• Clarifies that customers, guests and patrons are not required to wear a face mask indoors while actively eating or drinking in a stationary place, receiving a personal care service that requires the removal of their mask, or when alone in a room or office.

• Strongly recommends that all persons at outdoor mega-events wear a face mask at all times when not in their ticketed seat.

• Clarifies that persons in indoor private office settings need to wear a face mask.

• Requires face masks to be worn by all persons, regardless of vaccination status, while in all indoor public settings and businesses.

• Continues to urge everyone, especially those who are not or cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19, to continue to exercise caution and good judgment as community transmission has rapidly increased from low to substantial transmission in one month.

Although nearly 11 million vaccine doses have been administered and more than 5 million residents ages 16 and over are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, serious public health risks remain. The county’s health officer will continue monitoring epidemiological data to assess the impact of lifting restrictions.

These indicators include, but are not limited to, the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths among residents; the percentage of COVID-19 tests reported that are positive; the percentage of eligible Los Angeles County residents vaccinated against COVID-19; and the number of fully vaccinated people who get sick, are hospitalized or die from COVID-19.

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