State and county public health officials announced Monday the health officer order requiring face coverings in most public settings won’t expire before June 15, despite updated guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly issued a statement saying the state set the end of mask mandates and a full reopening of the state’s economy on June 15 before the CDC updated its guidance allowing fully vaccinated people to go without face masks in any setting.
“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings. This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change while we continue our relentless focus on delivering vaccines, particularly in underserved communities,” Ghaly said in the statement. “Until June 15, when California plans to fully reopen the economy, California will keep our existing guidance around masks in place.”
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a news briefing Monday the county will comply with the state’s decision and require face coverings until next month.
“While we’re relieved by these low (case) numbers, there continues to be COVID-19 transmission in L.A. County,” Ferrer said. “For that reason, the state will be keeping current masking guidance as is, and we in L.A. County will do the same.”
The health officer order was updated May 3 to say fully vaccinated people were not required to wear face coverings when indoors with other vaccinated or unvaccinated people and in outdoor settings unless in a crowd.
“I share the frustration expressed by many individuals regarding inconsistencies at the federal, state and local levels,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, said in a prepared statement. “The data continues to show a substantially decreased spread in Los Angeles County which would indicate that we should align with CDC masking recommendations based on the science. Regardless of when masking mandates change in Los Angeles County, individuals will still have the right to continue to wear a mask, and businesses can still require customers to wear a mask. The updated guidance from the CDC simply clarified the minimal health risks of not wearing a mask for those who are fully vaccinated.”
Face coverings are still required for everyone attending large events, using public transportation, business establishments and workplaces.
Those who are unvaccinated are still required to wear a face covering in outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Monday:
New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 161
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,237,561
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 4
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 24,097
Hospitalizations countywide: 332
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of May 10: 4, with 1,229 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 9, 2 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 27,787
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of May 15: 303
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of May 9: 61%
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of May 9: 56%