The LA County Department of Public Health revised a pandemic health order to align with new federal guidelines that relax the rules about when fully vaccinated people must wear masks.
The updated health ordinance, which goes into effect on Friday, states that unless they are in crowded environments, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask when they are outdoors alone. with members of their household or with a small group of fully immunized people. They can also go without a mask when mingling with a small group of people who are not fully vaccinated but are not at high risk of developing serious illness or dying from the coronavirus.
The order states that fully vaccinated people should always wear a mask in crowded outdoor environments, such as concerts or sporting events, in spaces where physical distance is not possible and it is not known if everyone is fully vaccinated, in indoor public places and on construction sites or businesses.
The new order comes as the county records record levels of coronavirus cases and may soon switch to California’s most forgiving four-category color-coded reopening system.
Officials, however, have expressed concern over the slowdown in COVID-19 vaccination rates in the county. Appointments for the first dose of the vaccine were halved.
In response, the county is allowing more walk-in visits to vaccination sites.
“All of our sites will continue to take anyone who shows up, even if they don’t have an appointment,” LA County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said Thursday. “I think the strategy moving forward for all of us will be to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated.