Los Angeles to demand masks at outdoor ‘mega-events’ as county suffers the most COVID-19 deaths in months
Face masks will be required at large outdoor events in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, under a new order that goes into effect Friday as Southern California experiences a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. .
The new mask requirement announced Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will apply to outdoor “mega-events” with 10,000 or more attendees, including concerts, sporting events and parades.
Each person who attends must wear a mask, regardless of whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, but you can briefly remove it to eat or drink.
Face masks are already required in Los Angeles County on public transportation and in transportation hubs, schools, healthcare settings, prisons, shelters, indoor public settings, and public and private businesses.
By modifying existing health regulations, masks will also soon become mandatory at mega-events taking place in outdoor venues, including amphitheaters and baseball and soccer stadiums, for example.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said requiring universal masking at outdoor mega-events was necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the more contagious Delta variant.
“The wisest way to add protection is to keep [your] mask when you are in indoor public places or workplaces and at outdoor mega-events when you are not eating or drinking, ”Dr. Ferrer said in a statement.
SoFi Stadium, the home of the LA Rams and LA Chargers professional soccer teams, said all guests attending any of its games this weekend should wear a mask when not eating or drinking.
Los Angeles County, which has approximately 10 million residents, has measured a growing number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths each day in the months leading up to the new face mask rule.
More than a year after the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles and the rest of California “reopened” in mid-June by rolling back health and safety restrictions that were first imposed during the outbreak.
The number of new daily COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County has risen from 108 on June 1 to 506 on July 1, to 3,045 on August 1. The health department reported 2,907 new cases on Tuesday, up from 2,426 on Monday.
Health officials have also measured a growing number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. That number increased from 259 on June 1 to 1,679 on Tuesday of this week.
Thirty new COVID-19 deaths were reported Tuesday in Los Angeles County, the most in nearly four months. The last time local officials measured 30 or more deaths in a day from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County was on April 29.
More than 1.3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in Los Angeles County since the coronavirus pandemic began in early 2020. A total of 24,935 people died from the disease during that period.
The coronavirus is transmitted in respiratory droplets expelled when a person opens their mouth to eat, drink, cough, speak, sneeze or breathe, and masks can significantly help reduce its spread.
Vaccines have been shown to be very effective in preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19. However, vaccinated people can still potentially contract the virus and then pass it on to other people.
While the coronavirus is most transmissible indoors, exposure to the outdoors can still cause an infection.
“In general, you don’t need to wear a mask in outdoor settings,” says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on its website.
However, the CDC adds: “In areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.”