Before the Super Bowl, a Los Angeles official wants the county’s mask mandate for…

Super Bowl: L.a. Official Wants County’s Mask Mandate For Outdoor Mega-events Gone Before Game

Before the Super Bowl, a Los Angeles official wants the county’s mask mandate for outdoor mega-events removed.

County Supervisor Katheryn Barger has ratcheted up the pressure on health officials to modify L.A.’s strict mask mandate for outdoor mega-events before the Super Bowl kicks off there on February 13 less than a week after a photo surfaced of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Magic Johnson maskless at SoFi Stadium.

Barger made a statement after the mayor was photographed without a mask at the NFC Championship Game, calling for an end to “blanket Covid masking policies.” Shortly after, Barger made a hardly noticed official request to the County Public Health Department, requesting that it “revisit the masking rules” and accord with the state’s less stringent guidelines for outdoor mega-events.

“This past weekend, we witnessed more than 70,000 spectators in attendance for the National Football League NFC Championship game at SoFi Stadium, with the vast majority not wearing masks,” Barger said, without addressing the mayor by name. A short look at the game’s “Rams Fam Cam” backs up that assertion. The lack of compliance was “very depressing,” according to Barger.

“We have not detected any Covid-19 spikes originating from prior games this season from games at that stadium,” L.A. Public Health officials told Barger. She further stated that she expects “far poorer masking compliance” at next week’s Super Bowl, which will also be held at SoFi.

Failure to make the change, she claimed, would “reinforce why we have stricter County mandates in place that are neither followed nor enforced, causing more frustration for residents who have been subjected to masking requirements that are more strictly enforced in other settings like schools, restaurants, and retail.”

The reasoning of reducing legislation solely because it is not observed or enforced is flawed; enhancing enforcement is also a possibility.

Local officials, on the other hand, have been hesitant to do so, claiming that they would rather “educate” business owners, especially after restrictions on eateries sparked outrage early in the pandemic. Officials from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, on the other hand, are sticking to their guns when it comes to masking during outdoor mega-events.

“This is not the time to cease wearing our masks inside or in crowded outdoor settings,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer stated yesterday. She did, however, layout a plan for lessening Covid mitigation measures as the present Omicron surge fades, but she cautioned that, even after the surge, the threat level would remain “high,” and that numbers would have to drop significantly before limitations could be eased.

Chairwoman Holly Mitchell of the Board of Supervisors similarly turned down Barger this week, claiming that Covid transmission is still too high in the county to loosen the masking requirement.

Barger issued a statement on her website regarding the letter she addressed to authorities from the Department of Public Health. It’s available to read below.

Residents of Los Angeles County are entitled to clarity and consistency. The Health Officer Order for the outdoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County is now the only one stricter than the State of California’s. Wearing masks in high-risk indoor environments is still a crucial technique for combating COVID-19, I want to underline.

State health experts, on the other hand, have determined that residents can participate in outdoor events and school surroundings without wearing a mask. The most effective method to preserve the community’s trust in our safety standards is to align with the state.

With this in mind, I formally requested alignment with State guidance in a letter to the Department of Public Health this week. With the Super Bowl just over a week away and thousands of spectators expected to visit from outside of L.A. County, I expect little compliance with our present mask mandate.

We shouldn’t have mandates that aren’t observed or enforced any longer. Residents in L.A. County are becoming increasingly distrustful and frustrated as a result of this. As we approach the two-year milestone of the epidemic, it is critical that we safeguard our communities’ public health and public trust.

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