L.A. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the department would not enforce the upcoming mask regulations in L.A. County.
On Thursday, L.A. Public Health announced that the county would reintroduce an indoor mask mandate for all over the weekend, regardless of vaccination status.
Prior, vaccinated Angelenos were allowed to remove their masks in most indoor situations.
In a statement, Villanueva said the decision for the mask mandate is not based on science and said instead of enforcement, he expects “voluntary compliance from L.A. County residents.
“Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,” Villanueva said on Friday. “…the underfunded/defunded Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance. We encourage the DPH to work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and law enforcement to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.”
The new mandate will begin at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 17, and as of this writing, there are 453 people hospitalized with COVID-19, an number that has doubled over the last month.
“Our COVID-19 metrics have continued to increase over the last week,” L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Munta Davis said in an update with the Board of Supervisors this week. “This is an all hands on deck moment.”