Photo by Kai Pilger via Unsplash

Since the easing of restrictions in L.A. County, local government has decided to make masks mandatory in most public spaces due to rising COVID-19 cases. 

Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) signed the Public Order Under City of Los Angeles Emergency Authority on July 17, explaining why the public order is being implemented. The order out-lines the mandatory requirements and where they are to be enforced. 

“When people wear a mask correctly, they protect others as well as themselves. Consistent and correct mask use is especially important indoors and outdoors when in close contact with (less than six feet from) others who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or whose vaccination status is unknown,” the public order states.  

The order goes on to list places where masking is required, including all public transportation and transportation hubs, indoor K-12 schools and daycares, healthcare settings, correctional facilities and all indoor public settings. This includes but is not limited to restaurants, retail and theaters. 

L.A. county has in fact seen a notable spike in positive COVID cases, with a particular increase during July. Even so, many constituents are unhappy with the new requirement, particularly after having a taste of ‘normalcy.’ Others, however, claim to be tired of “doing everything right” only to be told to continue to mask to protect those who refuse to get the vaccine. 

Other citizens are happy to see the mask requirement reinstated, believing the only time to fully unmask is once the virus is eradicated. 

The order asks for any private business owner that is found to be neglecting the mask requirements to be reported. 

“In the event that an owner, manager, or operator of any business knows of three (3) or more cases of COVID-19 among their employees within a span of 14 days, the employer must report this outbreak to the Los Angeles County Department… Some independent contractors are considered as employees under the State Labor Code.”

With summer in full swing, many people are wondering when things can be expected to return to normal. The timeline is unclear. 

“We share our deepest condolences with those of you who have lost friends, loved ones, and family during this difficult time,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer, according to L.A.Public Health.

“We expect to keep masking requirements in place until we begin to see improvements in our community transmission of COVID-19. But waiting for us to be at a high community transmission level before making a change would be too late.”

Written ByCynthia Zelaya

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