LA County Now Requires Masking at Outdoor Mega Events Regardless of Vaccination Status

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued an updated Health Officer Order with modifications regarding masking requirements; new requirements will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 19, 2021.

The Health Officer Order will require universal masking at outdoor mega events regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Masks will be required to be worn by everyone at all times except while actively eating or drinking at these events. Outdoor mega events are outdoor events with crowds greater than 10,000 attendees and such events include music or food festivals, car shows, large endurance events, marathons, parades, sporting events, and concerts.

In addition, the revised Health Officer Order provides clarification that mask use is to be required for indoor public settings and at outdoor mega events except while actively eating or drinking, which is defined in the revised Order as: “the limited time during which the mask can be removed briefly to eat or drink, after which it must be immediately put back on.” Furthermore, “patrons, customers, or guests must be seated at a table or positioned at a stationary counter, ticketed seat, or place while actively eating or drinking indoors, or while actively eating or drinking at an outdoor mega event.”

A sharp increase in community transmission of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County continues to cause significant concern. On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 34 new deaths and 4,046 new cases of COVID-19. LA County Health Officer Order revisions are based on continued evidence of sustained elevated community transmission rates of COVID-19; documented asymptomatic transmission; scientific evidence and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow transmission; and evidence that millions of people in LA County continue to be at risk for infection with serious health complications, including hospitalization and death.

Public Health officials continue to advocate for vaccination and masking as the most effective ways to prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission. Data continues to affirm that, for the general population, fully vaccinated people are well protected from severe infections with Delta variants. While there is evidence that a small number of fully vaccinated individuals can become infected and contribute to community spread, most new cases and hospitalizations are those who are unvaccinated.

Local Public Health Officials are reminding community members that it is important to get tested for COVID-19 infection for people who develop symptoms, even if fully vaccinated. COVID-19 testing remains widely available across the county. Residents should first call their healthcare provider for a COVID-19 test. For people who cannot get a test through a healthcare provider, free testing is available; please visit https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.

Los Angeles County coordinates a COVID-19 West Hollywood testing site at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The testing site is open each week from Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and is adjacent to the Community Center in the South Parking Lot. Tests are being administered by Fulgent Genetics. Due to increased demand for testing at this location, advance appointments are now required. Pre-register for an appointment at la.fulgentgenetics.com. People getting tests should bring ID and confirmation number to the appointment.

Health officials urge all people to get vaccinated. Residents ages 12 and older with internet access are urged to use www.VaccinateLACounty.com to sign up for a vaccination appointment. For people without access to a computer or the Internet, or people with disabilities, an LA County call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to help schedule appointments at (833) 540-0473. Many vaccination sites across LA County, including all County-run sites, are also offering third doses of vaccine to eligible immunocompromised people.

Additional information, such as links to West Hollywood-area drug store chains offering vaccinations, is available on the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/coronavirus in the Vaccines and Testing Information section.

Full text of the Health Officer Order is available on the LA County Public Health website.

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