LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County Wednesday lifted its outdoor mask mandate for mega-events and K-12 schools and child care centers, this on the same day that thousands of fans will gather in Exposition Park to celebrate the Rams Super Bowl title.
The decision also comes just days after most fans at Super Bowl LVI were seen ignoring the mask requirement.
Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told the L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday that the outdoor mask requirement will be formally lifted at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Fans who attend Wednesday's rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum will not be required to wear them. However, they will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
The move coincides with the state of California lifting its indoor mask-wearing requirement for fully vaccinated residents. Los Angeles County, however, will keep its indoor mask mandate for all people, regardless of vaccination status.
Ferrer said again Tuesday that the county's indoor masking rule will remain in place until the county's virus-transmission rate falls to the "moderate" level, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and stays there for two weeks. Ferrer said the indoor mask requirement could be lifted by March 30.
She said she understands residents' desire to shed face coverings, but the "issue is one of timing." Ferrer said masks are a critical level of protection when virus transmission remains high.
There were 1,995 COVID-19 patients in L.A. County hospitals Tuesday, down from 2,054 on Monday. Hospitalizations had climbed to over 4,800 in mid-January at the height of the Omicron-variant-fueled winter surge in cases.
The county on Tuesday reported 55 more COVID-19-related deaths, raising the overall virus death toll to 29,980.
Another 2,133 COVID cases were announced, giving the county a cumulative total of 2,766,161 from throughout the pandemic.
The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 3.2% as of Tuesday.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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