UPDATED 1:23 PM PT – Saturday, July 17, 2021
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced he would not enforce the new indoor mask mandate. In a statement on Friday, Villanueva said forcing vaccinated individuals as well as those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors has not been backed by science and contradicted CDC guidelines.
The Los Angeles Health Department reinstated an indoor mask order after an increase in COVID-19 cases since last month. However, the move sparked criticism among residents and County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who said masks should not be mandatory.
“I don’t think it should be mandatory. I think it should be recommended,” she expressed. “To my knowledge, we are the only county that’s doing it as a mandatory.”
.@lapublichealth has authority to enforce a new mask order, but the underfunded/defunded will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance. Read my full statement by visiting https://t.co/DVBvmRbFA9 pic.twitter.com/Je1nMerWrO
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) July 16, 2021
LA County Health Office Muntu Davis announced the reimposed mask mandate would be in effect for all individuals until the county sees a decline in COVID-19 cases. However, the CDC released a statement on Friday stating face masks and social distancing requirements were not required for fully vaccinated individuals.
The new indoor mask mandate is expected to go into effect on Saturday, with all indoor spaces requiring a mask while not eating or drinking.