Beverly Hills officials said they don’t plan to enforce a new mask mandate — even if public health officials decide to issue one by the end of this week in Los Angeles County.
Beverly Hills city council voted unanimously Monday against mandatory masking just as LA County Public Health Department officials are set to reissue the edict, unless COVID-19 cases and hospitalization numbers improve significantly.
Los Angeles County has seen “high” level of community spread as defined by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and could make an announcement about a mask decision Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. If the numbers remain at that high level, it would trigger a mask requirement.
However, Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse said there should be a choice in the matter.
“I feel it is our job to lead and I support the power of choice,” Bosse said in a statement. “Our job is to be proactive and public about what we believe. This is a united City Council and community that cares about health. We are not where we were in 2020, and now we need to move forward as a community and be part of the solution.”
On Tuesday, there were 3,547 new COVID cases and 1,286 hospitalizations across Los Angeles County with a positivity rate of 14.9 percent, according to LA Public Health. If those numbers do trend downward, officials could wait to enact a mandate.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the 5th District that includes the areas of San Gabriel, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys, said forcing another mandate “makes no sense.”
“I am not questioning the effectiveness of wearing a mask,” Barger said, according to ABC 7. “I’m questioning the effectiveness of making a mandate and telling people that they have to. I think it has an opposite effect and people will choose to defy.”