Starting Wednesday, L.A. County will no longer require masks for outdoor “mega events” such as professional sports games and concerts.
L.A. Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer made the announcement Tuesday, during the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting, saying the mandate will be lifted at 12:01 a.m.
Also being lifted will be the masking requirements at TK-12 schools in outdoor settings.
“Starting tomorrow, there is no longer outdoor masking requirements at schools and childcare… and at the outdoor potions of outdoor mega events,” Ferrer said.
The mask mandates were publicly called into question again, as they were after the Rams NFC Championship game two weeks ago, where both Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were photographed without a mask.
Supervisor Janice Hahn was critical of the lack of mask regulation at this weekend’s Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium, as many high profile celebrities, and local officials such as Garcetti, were photographed without a mask.
“I believe that we’re losing the trust and respect of the public,” Supervisor Hahn said during the meeting. “On Sunday we saw tens of thousands of people flagrantly violating L.A. County’s mask mandate at the Super Bowl… and frankly, Dr. Ferrer, personally, it just bothered me a little bit to see you there among people who were going against your health order… it did make it seem like you were OK with it.”
Hahn added that businesses, schools and churches were fined for violating mask mandates, but “the rules don’t seem to matter” for high profile entertainment events such as the Super Bowl.
Ferrer noted that places where eating and drinking occurs and masks are not always worn, L.A. County has “layered in additional protection” through vaccination checks.
“We’ve layered in additional protections, knowing fully well that our masking requirement allows people that are eating and drinking, to not keep a mask on,” Ferrer said. “Similar to any bar that you would walk into, you’re not going to find many patrons in those settings that are in fact wearing their masks inside the bar.”
The county said it would consider lifting the indoor mask mandate when COVID-19 hospitalizations fall under 2,500 for seven straight days. L.A. County is now six days into hospitalizations being below 2,500.
Writer’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Supervisor Hahn was “calling out Ferrer for being seen without a mask.” Hahn’s representatives clarified that her statements at the Supervisor meeting did not relate to Ferrer and her mask usage, but were critical of seeing Dr. Ferrer at the Super Bowl where many attendees refused to follow the County’s health order.