- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2022

A number of cities within Los Angeles County have already said they won’t enforce mask mandates if authorities decide to reimplement the health measures this week.

El Segundo, Beverly Hills, Long Beach and Pasadena have all said that they won’t impose a mask mandate on anyone, and instead continue to encourage people to wear masks.

“My City Council colleagues and I strongly believe the decision to wear a mask should be the choice of the individual and should not be imposed by L.A. County,” El Segundo Mayor Drew Boyles said in a statement.

The city of Long Beach said in a statement that its health department “strongly encourages people to practice personal responsibility and common-sense measures to protect themselves, their loved ones and the greater community from Covid-19.”

Both Long Beach and Pasadena have their own health departments.

L.A. County’s health department is expected to make an announcement Thursday on whether or not indoor mask mandates would be returning to places such as bars, restaurants and schools when they are back in session.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer gave a warning two weeks ago that mask mandates could return July 29 if the county couldn’t shake its classification as a place with “high” community transmission of COVID.

According to West Hollywood community news site WEHOville, the county needs to get its new daily virus-related hospital admission rate below 10 per 100,000 residents to lose that label.

As of last week, it sits at 11.7 per 100,000.

But Ms. Ferrer appears to have softened that stance in comments she made before the county’s Board of Supervisors this week.

“We may be positioned to pause the implementation of universal masking,” Ms. Ferrer told the board on Wednesday.

At least two county supervisors expressed concern about reintroducing mandates, according to WEHOville, with supervisor Kathryn Barger saying that she’s “adamantly opposed to mandating the masking, because I truly do believe it’s going to have the opposite effect.”  

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Matt Delaney can be reached at mdelaney@washingtontimes.com.

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