Los Angeles will once again require everyone to wear masks indoors

Jul 17, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional information. It was originally published on July 15.

As I experienced on my recent trip to California, the state’s reopening has largely meant a return to business as usual — and, for the most part, pre-pandemic life.

As part of the state’s new normal, restaurants can operate at full capacity, as can gyms, movie theaters and every other indoor venue. Vaccinated people are also no longer required to wear masks indoors, though the state’s most populous county is now preparing roll back some of its new rules.

Related: Health organizations offer conflicting mask guidance as delta variant spreads

As various publications and public health experts have detailed this afternoon, as of 11:59 p.m. this Saturday, July 17, everyone in Los Angeles County will once again be required to wear a mask indoors when in public.

Notably, this new requirement applies across the board — even fully vaccinated visitors and residents will need to mask up.

It’s a confusing but not entirely unexpected shift, given the rapid spread of a new, even more contagious version of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the “delta variant.”

Just over 69% of Los Angeles County residents age 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but that still leaves a significant percentage of the population vulnerable.

Although the risk to fully vaccinated people remains low, it’s unreasonable to expect businesses to confirm each customer’s vaccination status in determining whether or not they should be wearing a mask — requiring face coverings across the board may be the only way to ensure compliance.

As of now, the county doesn’t appear to have any immediate plans to implement additional restrictions, and that should remain the case as long as case numbers don’t continue to rise.

If community spread remains an issue, however, new measures may be added, Los Angeles County health officer Dr. Muntu Davis told the Los Angeles Times. “Anything is on the table if things continue to get worse, which is why we want to take action now,” he said.

Over in Las Vegas, all Venetian and Palazzo employees — regardless of vaccine status — are required to wear masks indoors as of July 17. In a statement to TPG, a spokesperson for the company said:

In response to new recommendations from the Southern Nevada Health District,  we now require that all Team Members (vaccinated or not) wear company-issued face masks while working in indoor public spaces, and in indoor areas where people congregate. In addition, we have revised our signs posted at public entrances to share this new SNHD recommendation. Complimentary face masks are available to our guests at Front Desks, Grazie Desks, and Concierge Desks.   

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the U.S., there’s a good chance more precautions might be on the way.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

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