With the city easing its mask mandate after it was first implemented in April 2020, Councilman Manuel Chavez said he’s looking forward to a sense of normalcy.
“We actually were one of the first cities to push for a mask mandate because we care about the citizens of Costa Mesa and want to make sure that we’re doing our best to ensure everyone’s safety,” Chavez said during a June 1 council meeting.
“That was not something I took lightly. I was humbled by the privilege and the trust that my city gave me.
“It’s very beautiful and fitting that, as we come to a close, we’re removing the mask mandate. We are going back to normality, or as normal as we can.”
Costa Mesa will now follow California Department of Public Health guidelines regarding the use of face coverings.
According to state guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals can visit other fully vaccinated people indoors or outdoors without masks or social distancing. They must continue to wear face coverings outdoors at crowded public events.
People who are not vaccinated are required to wear face coverings outdoors whenever social distancing cannot be maintained. In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, face coverings will continue to be required regardless of vaccination status, the report said.
State and county health department requirements have become less strict in mandating face coverings following a significant decline in CCP virus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and an increase in the number of adults having received the CCP virus vaccine.
“With the easing of the restrictions that are all accompanying the reopening of the economy, we wanted to just revise our mask mandate so that we’re consistent with the state and that we’re easing our requirements as well,” City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison said during the June 1 meeting.
“It also helped to ensure that the city’s essential workers, such as critical fire and police personnel responsible for handling the pandemic were kept as [safe] as possible to provide emergency services to the public.”
Santa Ana also implemented a mask requirement at the early stages of the pandemic. It will remain in effect until its city council repeals the local emergency declaration.
When California releases its guidelines for the state’s June 15 reopening, the city expects it to contain information that could help guide its mask mandate decision-making.