mask mandates

LA County Has Dropped its Mask Mandate on Public Transit. Here's What to Know

Tourists and commuters traveling by bus, plane and train can choose whether or not they want to wear a mask or not -- but if cases climb again, masks might come back.

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Starting Friday, residents and visitors in Los Angeles County no longer need to wear a mask when at the airport or riding public transportation.

COVID-19 case numbers have dropped enough for county officials to lift the mask orders, with LA County now in the federal government's "low" COVID activity level and the weekly infection rate below 100 new cases per 100,000 residents.

LA was the only county in California to still mandate masking for public transit. The change is a big step, with state officials and local health officials easing up on the mask mandate for the first time since the beginning of the year, in all locations -- not just public transportation.

"But the vast majority of people are wearing them, and I think they're wearing them appropriately," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer of LA County Public Health. "So my hope is we continue to do what people in LA County have been doing for over two and a half years, which is assess not only our own individual risk, but the risk of people around us in our workplaces, in our community, when we make the decisions about when it's going to be important to keep our masks on."

Now, tourists and commuters traveling by bus, plane and train can choose whether or not they want to wear a mask.

Masks will continue to be required in health-care, long-term care and adult/senior care facilities, which contain more vulnerable populations.

Individual businesses and venues can also require masks indoors as they see fit.

This change also doesn't affect people who have tested positive for COVID-19, who are still required under county guidelines to mask up around others for 10 days, and isolate at home for the first six of those.

If case rates in LA County climb back up again, the mask mandate will come back for everyone on public transportation.

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