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A small group opposed to Orange County’s relaxed rules on face coverings amid the COVID-19 pandemic was met Tuesday by a much louder crowd intent on drowning out their message.

About 25 Orange County union leaders gathered on the steps of the county administration building to call on health officials to reinstate an order requiring that residents wear masks when conducting essential business.

Five speakers tried to discuss the necessity of face coverings during a gathering organized by the Orange County Labor Federation, a group representing about 90 local unions, including healthcare workers, grocery employees and first responders.

But they largely could not be heard over the roar of protesters, who crowded around them holding signs and shouting, “Hey hey, ho ho, these masks have got to go” and “Fake news has got to go” in singsong refrains.

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