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LA County Rules For Lifting Masking Draws Debate From Supervisor Kathryn Barger

Kids stand lined-up in a school yard wearing masks.
Kids line up outside school on the first day at Montara Avenue Elementary School in South Gate.
(Alborz Kamalizad
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Supervisor Kathryn Barger is pushing back against the criteria set by Los Angeles County public health officials for loosening masking requirements.

She contends the standards are “unrealistic.” L.A. County is keeping its universal indoor mask mandate in place, even after the statewide one expires next week.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says she does see an endpoint to the local mandate — though it will depend on whether cases keep dropping.

“I think we're going to get there a lot faster if we continue with the decline,” she said. “The issue is: the decline continues if the protections are in place...when we remove a lot of those, as we've seen in the past, we tend to see our numbers go back up.”

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Ferrer has said outdoor masking rules will be loosened up once the number of COVID-positive patients in local hospitals drops below 2,500 and stays there for seven straight days.

Indoor masking rules will remain in place until transmission drops to the moderate level and stays there for two entire weeks in a row.

That's only if no new variant of concern shows up to threaten vaccine efficacy.

What questions do you have about the coronavirus and/or how it’s affecting your life in Southern California?