More Cities Vote Not to Enforce LA County’s Mask Mandate Proposal

More Cities Vote Not to Enforce LA County’s Mask Mandate Proposal
A man wearing a protective face mask walks past a sign requiring face masks posted on a storefront in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 2, 2022. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

With a decision expected tomorrow on whether Los Angeles County will re-impose an indoor mask mandate due to COVID-19, officials from several cities said they will not enforce such a rule if it is implemented.

Officials of Long Beach, Pasadena, and El Segundo said July 26 they would not follow such an order after evaluating the hospitalization metrics and local COVID case rates.

“Hospitalizations among Long Beach residents remain stable, area hospitals have adequate capacity and fatalities remain low,” reads a statement by the City of Long Beach. “The City of Long Beach will continue to align with the California Department of Public Health, which strongly urges, but does not require, masking in most circumstances.”

In the past seven days, the average number of daily new cases in Long Beach was 477 per 100,000 people with nearly 10 hospitalized. As the hospitalization rate remains stable, city officials said, local hospitals have an adequate capacity to serve more other patients.

Pasadena’s health officials said new infections in their city declined in the past 10 days and the number of hospitalizations did not increase during that time.

“Pasadena Public Health Department has determined that jurisdictional COVID-19 confirmed case rates have declined for about 10 days, and local hospitalization metrics have not continued to increase during that time, “ reads a statement by the Pasadena Public Health Department.

The El Segundo City Council voted July 26 to not enforce a mask mandate.

“My City Council colleagues and I strongly believe the decision to wear a mask should be the choice of the individual and should not be imposed by L.A. County,” El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles said in a statement.

The Beverly Hills City Council led the march on Monday, being the first to vote not to enforce the potential mandate.

The LA County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday the county may “pause the implementation of universal masking” that was anticipated to begin Friday due to COVID case and hospitalization rates trending down.

The department is expected to make the decision on the mandate after the updated hospital admission rates are released on Thursday.