Los Angeles County announced on Nov. 3 that the mask mandate can be lifted if certain requirements are met for large outdoor mega-events and indoor settings with fewer than 1,000 people.
According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the county’s Department of Public Health, four conditions have to be met for the mask mandate to be lifted:
- 80 percent of the residents aged 12 or older are fully vaccinated;
- There are no emerging reports of significantly circulating variants of concern;
- Three consecutive weeks of moderate transmissions are recorded; and
- Daily hospitalization stays low and stable, namely below 600 for three consecutive weeks, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For Sean Ting, currently residing in Redondo Beach, masks are not necessary because he is fully vaccinated, but he stressed that he will continue to wear a mask if that can help with protecting others.
“I feel safe. … Based on the latest data, I think if you get two doses of the vaccine, and you get COVID, [the vaccine] is 90 percent effective to keep you from hospitalization. I believe in science; I believe in data,” Ting told The Epoch Times.
However, Han Liu, a mother of a 2-year-old in Torrance, is concerned about how lifting the mask mandate can affect children, whom she considers to have weaker immune systems.
“I think it’s fine to not wear the mask outdoor, but we should still wear them indoors just to protect kids,” Liu told The Epoch Times.
Similarly, Kristy Hu, a native of Los Angeles, said lifting the mandate with the prerequisites should not be a big problem, but kids without masks might still be vulnerable.
“I feel safe when I shop in a supermarket. It is fine to lift the mask mandate once these requirements are met, but it is risky for kids to not wear masks. If it is not for the mandate, kids will not be self-disciplinary enough to wear a face mask,” Hu told The Epoch Times.
Additionally, she thinks that lifting the mandate would reduce mask littering and improve the cleanliness of public space.
“I see disposable masks being littered by the beach, grass … everywhere. I think lifting mask mandate would reduce the use of these disposable masks,” she said.
However, Joshua Lauria, an unvaccinated resident of South El Monte, considers the mask mandate an infringement of freedom.
“The mask mandate is nothing more than a control tactic,” Lauria told The Epoch Times. “There should have never been a mask mandate to begin with.”
There are currently 672 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Los Angeles, according to county health director Ferrer.
She also reported that 17 people died on Nov. 2 due to COVID-19, and 7 died the day before.
As of Nov. 2, total COVID-19 deaths in LA County reached 26,661.
Ferrer told the LA Board of Supervisors on Nov. 2 that 72 percent of LA residents aged 12 or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 80 percent of them have received at least one dose.