This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Los Angeles County’s indoor mask mandate will likely be lifted by the end of next month, a top health official said this week, though that timetable could potentially be even shorter should the federal guidance on face coverings change.

L.A. County is one of just a handful of areas that have retained a local universal indoor mask order after California lifted its statewide mandate on Wednesday. Other places that have said they will keep their mask rules in place for now include Palm Springs and Santa Clara and Mendocino counties.

“It’s not possible for us to predict future transmission, but we do anticipate that if we have these continued steep declines in cases, which indicate lower transmission, we will be able to safely lift indoor masking mandates in mid-to-late March,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

To lift its indoor mask mandate, L.A. County must reach “moderate transmission,” as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At that point, the agency says case rates are low enough that vaccinated people don’t need to mask up in indoor public settings.

Read the full story on