Covid-19, Mask Mandates, Restrictions, and Vaccines: Live Updates
Covid-19, Mask Mandates, Restrictions, and Vaccines: Live Updates

Covid-19, Mask Mandates, Restrictions, and Vaccines: Live Updates

Credit…Alex Welsh for The New York Times

Los Angeles County is repealing almost all of its requirements for indoor mask and vaccine confirmation, local officials said.

The change, which went into effect on Friday, removes the mask requirements in public environments such as grocery stores, restaurants and bars. It also eliminates the need to show proof of vaccination or negative test results to get into indoor bars, wineries or most other businesses.

California rules still require proof of vaccination or negative test results to attend major indoor events, as well as masks in transit and in other high-risk environments, including hospitals.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, cited new federal guidelines for measuring risk in communities in her office’s decision to remove restrictions faster than expected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated measures, she said, Los Angeles County is in the low-risk category.

Still, Dr. Ferrer that masks were highly recommended and that individual companies could choose to maintain the requirements.

“Covid-19 is a deadly virus and it’s still with us – it ebbs and flows,” she said. “We have to take advantage of the good times we are about to be in, where we see much less risk across the board for so many, and be prepared if we were to see a new variant.”

While the city of Los Angeles will for the time being still require bars, restaurants and many other indoor businesses to check vaccine status, the moment is an important symbolic milestone for Angelenos, who has weathered some of the country’s deadliest waves and has lived under some of the country’s most enduring restrictions.

Dr. Ferrer has been a special cautionary voicealthough her ward has been the subject of frustration from residents who felt that strict rules were unnecessary.

In recent weeks, Dr. However, Ferrer, along with other public health officials across the country, shifted his focus toward measures to prevent increases, hospitalizations and deaths.

She said the county would continue to help residents get vaccinated and that her department will continue to track case data closely to intervene before outbreaks at schools or businesses get out of control. Dr. Ferrer stressed that the county will work to ensure that all communities have equal access to therapy for people who become ill with Covid-19.

On Monday, the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington jointly announced that on March 12, they would lift state-mandated masks in schools, which were some of the last remaining state-wide restrictions. And California officials on Tuesday lifted a mask mandate for unvaccinated people in indoor public spaces.

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