We did it. YOU did it. We’re celebrating more than just a smart, sensible, timely decision on the part of local health officials to lean on voluntary masking and public education at this stage of the endemic. We’re celebrating democracy at work.
Business leaders spoke up, journalists amplified our calls for a pragmatic approach to masking, and county officials listened.
We applaud and align with leaders who heard business voices, took the pulse of Angelenos at large, and carefully mapped the trajectory of coronavirus data before handing down their no-mandate verdict today. This is a decision-making framework that encourages us to keep rallying and raising our voices across all policy areas. LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said she received a flood of emails from Angelenos with a mixed bag of concerns. We know the business community was responsible for thousands of those emails!
- Dr. Barbara Ferrer announced the county will NOT reinstate its mask mandate as we approach a lower tier of COVID transmission.
- The county reassessed and ultimately decided to “pause” implementation of the mandate despite figures not quite hitting the designated range of 10 new admissions per 100,000 residents that Ferrer previously said could halt the mandate. (We’re currently at 11.5 new admissions per 100,000 residents, down slightly from last Thursday’s rate of 11.7.)
- That means the no-mandate decision wasn’t tied solely to this data point. County officials also took broader trends into consideration and took the pulse of public sentiment. Your voices made a difference.
- Remember when I told a CBS reporter last week it would be “ridiculous, really” to reinstate universal indoor masking? Ferrer seems to agree. She said today it would be “a little bit ridiculous” to go ahead with another mandate when data trends show we’re on track to reach the “medium” transmission level in a few days.
Masks are still required in indoor public transit areas in LA, including in taxis, rideshares, and airports. A countywide mandate could still be imposed in the future if cases tick back up.
A NOTE OF THANKS…
We want to express our gratitude to Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn for understanding the moment and speaking out earlier this week about the ineffective nature of another mask mandate. We also want to recognize city leaders in Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Pasadena, and El Segundo for choosing NOT to waste precious city resources on enforcement if LA County had gone ahead with reinstating its mask mandate. This is what effective leadership looks like.
We encourage you to read Supervisor Barger’s open letter to constituents. This is courageous, gold-standard advocacy messaging.
BEST PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICES
Here’s a quick refresher on some recommended protocol for businesses and employers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, shared by federal, state, and county health officials.
- Encourage and make it easier for employees to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.
- Per Cal-OSHA, upon request, employers must provide all employees who work indoors or in vehicles with more than one person with the correct-size N95 respirator for voluntary use.
- Actively encourage and support employees to stay home when sick.
- Exclude infected and exposed employees from the workplace unless they have satisfied all return-to-work requirements.
- Manage COVID-19 exposures in the workplace when it is known that an employee with COVID-19 was at work during their infectious period.
- Use clearly visible signage at the entrance to your business and in electronic communications.
- Increase ventilation to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Together, we can shape policy and move mountains! Onward!