Several cities within LA county are joining Beverly Hills in saying that they will not be enforcing a mask mandate after the announcement that LA County would likely institute a mask mandate this week.
Cities including Manhattan Beach and Long Beach have come out against the possible mandate, and more cities are expected to follow.
“I think the notion of a mask mandate is not necessary — it is not following the science,” said Manhattan Beach City Council Member Suzanne Hadley.
Some residents are still waiting to see if their cities are going to follow LA County in enforcing a mandate.
“I’m hoping the city of Pasadena can be more independent can be more independent like it has in the past,” said Pasadena resident and restaurant owner Jack Wang.
Pasadena has its own health department, and released a statement saying it would not institute a mask mandate at this time.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says the county is still seeing declines in all of its major COVID-19 metrics, including slowing case numbers and stabilizing hospitalizations and deaths.
She says given the improvements, “we may be positioned to pause the implementation of universal masking.” She tells the Board of Supervisors that if the hospital admission rate of new COVID patients falls by Thursday near the rate of 10 per 100,000 residents, it would “trigger a reassessment on the need to re-implement an indoor masking mandate.”
As of last Thursday, the rate was 11.7 new admissions per 100,000 residents.
LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger remains hopeful that a mandate can be avoided.
“I think it’s not inevitable given what I’m hearing, and given the kind of softening of position. It may not happen,” Barger said. “Mandating to me is polarizing and it is going to have the opposite affect.”
Despite the certainty from local leaders that the LA County mask mandate would return Friday, the final decision on whether it will actually happen is expected Thursday.
Orange County also released a statement July 15 saying a mask mandate would not be implemented.