Beverly Hills Will Refuse to Enforce L.A. Mask Mandate

LA County is poised for a new mask mandate, but Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse says her city is done with KN95s

Following the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases caused by the BA.5 variant, Los Angeles County officially moved to the  “high” level of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s three-tier assessment rating of community COVID risk on July 14, which means L.A. officials would like to reinstate mandatory indoor public masking in the next few days.

According to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, the average daily rate of virus-related hospital admissions rose to to 11.4 per 100,000 over the past week. Meanwhile, another 33 deaths reported Monday brought the County’s total Covid-19 death toll to 32,637. Ferrer says she hopes that a mandate can at least slow the rate of transmission.

But Beverly Hills has already spoken out against the looming mandate. In a news release issued Monday, Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse stated that the City would not enforce the County’s mask mandate if reinstated. 

“I feel it is our job to lead, and I support the power of choice,” Bosse said. “Our job is to be proactive and public about what we believe. This is a united City Council and community that cares about health.” 

Regardless, the City of Beverly Hills falls under the jurisdiction of the LA County Department of Public Health and would be subject to any such order from the County. 

What Beverly Hills has made absolutely crystal, however, is that it’s up to LA County to see the mandate enforced in their city. 

“We are not where we were in 2020, and now we need to move forward as a community and be part of the solution,” says Bosse.

And Bosse is not the only one who is questioning the efficacy of a new mask mandate. According to to City News Service, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger issued a public statement expressing skepticism that reinstating the mask mandate would actually curb spread of the BA.5 variant.

Barger points to an analysis of Alameda County’s June 2022 masking mandate, which, “in fact, concluded it had no significant impact in comparison to its surrounding counties that did not impose a masking mandate.”

Though she doesn’t oppose the use of masks, Barger claims that a mask mandate alone can do little to solve the “underlying systemic healthcare inequities that are the true drivers of inequitable rates of COVID-19 deaths and long-term, negative effects.”

Barger echoes Bosse’s concern that mandates are almost impossible to enforce.

According to CNS, The Los Angeles County Business Federation have also opposed the mandate, claiming that it will negatively impact small businesses who would have to enforce mask-wearing.

Ferrer has said that she doesn’t expect business owners to be responsible for enforcing the mandate. “Most people in the past have gone ahead and been compliant,” she said.

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