You read that subject line right. We hope county leaders get this right. Fast-moving developments from today’s Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting are encouraging, but our advocacy work isn’t done. The next few days are critical. We’re leaning on all our members to help us amplify the business community’s call for sensible endemic protocol.
- The county has seen a decrease in COVID hospitalizations, deaths, and cases, according to LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
- If the hospital admission rate of new COVID patients falls by Thursday, it could trigger a reassessment of the looming mask mandate.
- The rate would need to fall close to 10 new admissions per 100,000 residents to halt the mandate. As of last Thursday, the rate was 11.7 per 100,000 residents.
- County health officials will make their decision this Thursday, July 28th.
- If a mask mandate is implemented, it will go into effect this Friday, July 29th.
- County supervisors have the authority to override a public health order. The earliest that could happen is Tuesday, August 2nd at their next meeting.
OTHER MEETING TAKEAWAYS
Supervisor Janice Hahn said her inbox has been flooded with thousands of comments from residents opposed to the looming mandate. If Angelenos won’t accept a universal masking order at this point of the endemic, it “negates the purpose” of such a measure, Hahn said at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Although she didn’t explicitly express opposition, Hahn’s remarks are significant because they reflect the willingness of county leaders to hear constituents. So far, Supervisor Kathryn Barger is the only LA County supervisor to publicly oppose the mask mandate.
Barger spoke at length during today’s meeting about the polarizing and unenforceable nature of mask mandates, and pointed to challenges at LAX. The airport is currently experiencing a COVID outbreak affecting TSA and at least two airlines. That’s in spite of the mask mandate in place at LAX! If a mandate can’t be enforced, it does nothing to lower virus transmission.
We encourage you to read Barger’s open letter to constituents. She cites the lack of empirical data conclusively linking mask mandates to lowered COVID transmission. You can’t argue with science.
READ & SHARE
We also want to point you toward an editorial published yesterday by Southern California News Group that urges county supervisors to block the looming mandate. It’s a crisply written, well-rounded piece that takes public will, government accountability, scientific innovation, and public health data into consideration. The Editorial Board cites BizFed’s stance, saying we’re “right” to push for smarter solutions than a “heavy-handed mandate.”
Your retweets, letters, emails, and calls are making a difference!