Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated he is not going to implement the reinstated indoor mask mandate as a result of it contradicts guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a statement Friday, Villanueva stated the division is already underfunded and he “is not going to expend our restricted sources” to make sure residents are following the order. He as an alternative requested for voluntary compliance.
“Forcing the vaccinated and those that already contracted Covid-19 to put on masks indoors is just not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) tips,” he stated.
Villanueva went on to say that whereas the Division of Public Well being has the authority to implement the order, he encourages the company to “work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and legislation enforcement to determine mandates which can be each achievable and supported by science.”
California reopened its financial system final month. After an increase in coronavirus instances, public well being officers introduced Thursday that every one residents of probably the most populous county within the nation could be required to put on a masks whereas indoors. The mandate — fueled by the quickening spread of the delta variant — goes into impact late Saturday and can apply to everybody no matter their vaccination standing. The Public Well being Division stated there can be a number of exceptions to the order.
“The alarming will increase in instances, positivity charges and the rise in hospitalizations alerts fast motion should be taken to sluggish the unfold of Covid-19,” county Well being Officer Dr. Muntu Davis stated in an announcement. “In any other case, we could rapidly see extra devastating sickness and loss of life among the many tens of millions of residents.”
The county recorded 1,902 new Covid-19 instances and 6 deaths on Friday. The general public well being division stated in a press release that the brand new instances present “alarming tendencies of elevated neighborhood unfold.”
Of these new instances, 71 % are amongst folks 18 to 49, in accordance with the division. Over 450 individuals are at present hospitalized with the virus, greater than double the 216 hospitalizations reported a month in the past.
The county’s take a look at positivity fee has additionally elevated to three.8 %. In early June that fee was close to 0.4 %, the division stated.
The CDC has stated that totally vaccinated people did not need to wear a mask indoors or social distance. The vaccine doesn’t totally shield folks from contracting Covid-19 however can stop those that are totally vaccinated from getting sick or severely in poor health.
Public well being officers in Los Angeles County stated that new coronavirus instances amongst totally vaccinated residents are low however are nonetheless a priority. Of the greater than 4 million totally vaccinated folks, there have been 4,122 confirmed instances as of Tuesday, the discharge acknowledged.
“With out bodily distancing and capability limits throughout a time of considerable neighborhood unfold, masking by everybody indoors is an easy and efficient motion all of us can take to decrease threat of transmission whereas limiting disruption to regular enterprise capability and operations,” Davis stated. “The urgency to get extra folks vaccinated stays excessive with this stage of unfold. For everybody whose eligible and nonetheless ready to get vaccinated, the time to do it’s now.”
Many individuals criticized the county’s order, with some labeling it as a step backward.
“Vaccinated people need not put on masks, medical specialists have made that clear,” Kevin Faulconer, who can also be seeking to unseat Gov. Gavin Newsom, stated in an announcement. “We have to be reopening our state, not reimposing pointless restrictions. If Gavin Newsom had any frequent sense, he’d step up and oppose this, that is what I will do as governor.”
Caitlyn Jenner, the previous Olympian and a gubernatorial candidate, tweeted: “Right here comes Gavin’s shutdown 2.0.”
Newsom didn’t challenge the masks mandate and has not commented on the order.
Seven different California counties, together with San Francisco and Alameda, issued masks suggestions Friday in response to Los Angeles’ change in coverage. Sacramento and Yolo counties issued indoor masks suggestions earlier within the week, even earlier than Los Angeles tightened its restrictions.