Los Angeles County is preparing to lift its indoor mask mandate on Friday in anticipation of the CDC modifying its COVID-19 guidelines.

At the moment, L.A. County is considered a high risk area for community transmission, but an adjustment to the CDC’s Community Level table on Thursday is expected to place L.A. in either a medium to low risk category, as its COVID-19 metrics continue a downtrend.

The expected update to the CDC’s Community Level Table will no longer be based on transmission rates alone, but also take into account hospitalization metrics.

If and when that happens, Director of L.A. Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the department will have a modified order drafted and ready to implement on Friday, March 4.

“We are prepared, on Thursday, to offer a modified health officer order, with an effective date of implementation for Friday, March 4 that will strongly recommend and not require public masking at most indoor spaces,” Ferrer said during the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. “As we’ve emphasized throughout the pandemic, masks are one of the easiest things we can do to prevent COVID-19 transmission and provide strong protection to the person wearing them, as well as to the people around them, including those who are most vulnerable to harm from COVID-19.”

Ferrer added that federal mask guidelines will still require masks to be worn within public transportation, health care settings, emergency shelters and nursing homes.

While not required, public health officials still “strongly recommend” that masks be worn in “public indoor settings until the COVID-19 transmission risk levels decrease.

While L.A. County is dropping its mask mandate, local governments may still implement stricter regulations. The city of Los Angeles has been one of the cities that continues with stricter requirements in the past, requiring businesses to ask for proof of vaccination, even as it was not a county-wide requirement.

The Los Angeles city council has not indicated that it will align itself with the county’s indoor mask requirement.



LA Weekly