County health officials decided that the indoor mask mandate would apply regardless of a person’s vaccination status. The mandate, announced on Thursday, takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.
“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 in a statement.
“The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has authority to enforce the order, but 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.”
People wear masks as they walk in a shopping district in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on July 1, 2021. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)
The CDC announced in May this year that people fully vaccinated against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, no longer have to wear masks indoors.
An updated guidance on the CDC website as of Friday reads,
“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
The LA County Health Department said on Thursday that transmission of the CCP virus was increasing “from Moderate to Substantial,” citing the “trend in daily new cases of COVID-19.”
In a statement, the department said that it had observed a seven-times increase in new cases since California fully reopened its economy on June 15 by dropping all physical distancing requirements and capacity limits, and relaxed most of its mask requirements.
“Wearing a mask when indoors reduces the risk of both getting and transmitting the virus. This additional layer of protection can help to slow the spread and does not limit business occupancy and operations,” the department asserted.
LA County Health Officer Muntu Davis said the new mask mandate will remain in place “until we begin to see improvements in our community transmission of COVID-19.”
He adds that the health department urges all residents who are eligible to get vaccinated.
“Although not at 100 [percent], [getting vaccinated] significantly reduces the risk of infection and, for the small number of people that get infected, it reduces the risk of hospitalization and death once you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Davis said.
The department said in its statement that it is “a great time” to plan on vaccinating children who are 12 and older, and pointed out that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is approved for those aged 12 and older.
It announced incentives for receiving the vaccine, saying that starting Friday through July 22, people 18 and older can have a chance at winning grand prizes if they get vaccinated at county-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites. There are seven packages of tickets to attend the Staples Center to certain performances, it announced.
Vaccine providers can report any serious adverse effects or vaccination administration errors to VAERS, hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Vaccine manufacturers are immune from liability for any adverse reactions to their products unless there’s “willful misconduct” involved.
The federal government has a Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program that can pay compensation to eligible persons who suffer serious injury from approved vaccines. But the burden of proof has proven a challenging process.