County health officials relax masking rules on public transit and at airports

County health officials relax masking rules on public transit and at airports

Los Angeles County health officials announced Thursday that face coverings will no longer be recommended on public transit, at airports and in several other places.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the county is aligning with state guidelines on masking as COVID infection and hospitalizations continue to decline in Southland.

“Given the proximity of the CDC’s current rate to 100, we are able to move forward with changes to indoor masking policies starting tomorrow,” Ferrer said.

Face coverings will also be optional in places like shelters and jails if there have been no recent outbreaks and county community levels of COVID-19 remain low.

“Indoor masking will still be required for those within 10 days of a COVID diagnosis or exposure, as this is when people are at the greatest risk of transmitting the virus to others,” said the director of public health.

Masks are also still required in all health care and long-term care facilities.

Changes to the county’s masking guidelines take effect Friday.

However, some local doctors, like Dr. Nicholas Testa, chief medical officer for Dignity Health SoCal, are encouraging residents to continue protecting themselves from the virus.

“Covid isn’t going away, is it? We’re now moving into this endemic phase where it’s present in our communities and we’re going to see outbreaks of it where it’s blooming and it’s popping up, the same way that we see flu outbreaks every season,” Testa said. “We have to respond appropriately. We know there is a certain lethality associated with COVID and when we see these outbreaks spreading in our communities, we need to adopt all of these measures that we have used before, like putting on masks.

The state still requires businesses, K-12 schools and other places to allow anyone who wishes to wear a mask to do so.

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