Officials from the city of Beverly Hills announced Monday night that the city would not be enforcing an indoor mask mandate if Los Angeles County issues a new health order that requires it, as is widely expected.
The decision was made during a Beverly Hills City Council meeting and was unanimously agreed upon, the city said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has been weighing the decision to implement an indoor mask mandate once again as coronavirus cases continue to rise due to the highly transmissible BA.5 variant which has become the predominant coronavirus mutation in the nation.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles County reached a certain threshold that determined community spread of COVID-19 was high, and Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county would have to lower transmission below the “high” level by July 28 to avoid the masking requirement returning.
If a mask mandate is reinstated by the Public Health Department, Beverly Hills would be included in the order. But Monday’s announcement made it clear that the city has no intention to enforce such an order.
“I feel it is our job to lead and I support the power of choice,” said Mayor Lili Bosse, who presented the item at the council meeting. “Our job is to be proactive and public about what we believe.”
Instead, the city says it is putting the onus of enforcement on the Public Health Department, saying the city may or may not allocate any city resources to make sure the mask mandate is adhered to.
“We are not where we were in 2020, and now we need to move forward as a community and be part of the solution,” Bosse said in a news release, although it was unstated what, exactly, that solution was.
Indoor masking would immediately become required by Friday if hospitalization rates in Los Angeles County do not fall below the “high” threshold.
Currently, masking indoors is required for everyone over 2 years old at the following locations:
- Health care settings
- Public transit and transportation hubs
- Long-term care facilities
- Shelters and cooling centers
- Correctional facilities
- When required by a business or employer
- Outbreaks at worksites
- During the 10 days after a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure
If the universal indoor mask mandate returns, facial coverings will be required at the following spaces:
- Shared office
- Indoor events
- Indoor areas at restaurants and bars
- Indoor areas at children’s programs
- Indoor areas in educational settings including early childhood care, summer school, higher education
Click here for more information on masking in L.A. County.