Fans heading to cheer the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers will have to start wearing their masks again after LA County became the first in the nation to reinstate outdoor mask mandates for large outdoor gatherings amid a spike in COVID cases due to the Delta variant.
The new mandate, which begins Friday, will impact vaccinated and unvaccinated fans attending sporting events or concerts at what the county called ‘mega events’ – any gathering over 10,000 people.
People will still be allowed to slip off their masks when eating and drinking.
California joined 28 other states last spring in lifting the mandate on outdoor masks but Los Angeles County has seen a resurgence of COVID cases over the summer due to the Delta variant.
The new mandate, which calls for masks to be worn at outdoor events with more than 10,000 people in attendance, will affect fans at Dodgers Stadium. Pictured, fans cheering on Aug. 3
Crowds were able to enjoy games without masks, but a spike in COVID-19 cases in the last month have reimplemented mask mandates for both indoor and outdoor events
Pictured, people walking across Hollywood Boulevard wearing masks in March
Los Angeles County has been averaging 3,361 new cases a day, a nearly 20% increase since the start of August, according to The New York Times.
As of Aug. 10, the county was averaging 14 deaths a day, double the amount reported just two days earlier.
Hospitalization have also gone up, with more than 1,600 people a day being treated for COVID. That is about four times the daily hospitalization rate from last month.
The new mandate will impact those attending any of LA’s major sports venues – such as Dodger Stadium, the LA Memorial Coliseum and SoFi Stadium – as well at concert sites like the Hollywood Bowl, and at marathons, festivals and car shows.
Dodger Stadium had reopened to the fully vaccinated last month and throngs of fans came to cheer their 2020 World Series champions, who played in a mostly an empty stadium last year.
The operators of the events are responsible for making sure patrons follow the mask rules, the county’s health office says.
Residents voiced their complaints over the new mandate on Twitter, expressing their frustration on a return to masks.
Some said the new mandate was making the state move ‘backwards,’ while others feared a return to ‘normal life’ was no longer in sight for LA.
‘So dumb,’ Rob Macintyre wrote on Twitter. ‘How will this increase vaccinations? If you need to still wear a mask outdoors regardless of vax status, there is no benefit to those who are not vaxed to get vaxed.’
Michael Beachy wrote on Twitter, ‘Ok, LA County. Enough. I’m a vaccinated liberal but I’m over having to wear a mask to protect conspiracy theories anti-vaccines GQP! Let em get infected. This has to stop!’
John Poprac questioned the need for the mandate on Twitter. He wrote, ‘No other jurisdiction, either heavily republican or heavily democrat, is requiring outdoor masks? So are LA County leaders geniuses or idiots? Are they smarter than everyone else? I doubt it.’
Los Angeles implemented an indoor mask mandate last month, requiring people at indoor events and schools to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Chicago joined suit.
Students returned to school wearing masks on Aug. 16. Pictured, students at Grant Elementary
Los Angeles teachers will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15
LA County Superintendent of Schools Debra Durardo, left, walked with Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer as schools reopened this week
The Los Angeles City Council will also pass a new mandate requiring residents to have at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine before entering restaurants, gyms, entertainment businesses and other indoor venues.
While New York has passed a similar mandate, LA took things one step further and included ‘retail establishments’
At least 63% of Los Angeles residents are fully vaccinated, and about 72% have received one dose.
Some of the most populous cities in the US have begun issuing mandates to exclude the unvaccinated from indoor venues. It is unclear how they will be enforced
San Francisco’s mandate is even more stringent, insisting full vaccination – not just one dose – for customers and employees at restaurants, gyms and other indoor venues.
New Orleans’s mandate called for full vaccinations or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days.
No city has given a clear indication on how the mandates will be enforced.