Starting Friday, Universal Studios Hollywood will no longer require guests to wear face coverings or show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
The Universal City theme park still strongly recommends masks indoors, but the changes are another sign of a major shift in COVID-19 response policy in Los Angeles County, which plans to lift its indoor mask mandate Friday.
Click here for more information on Universal Studios health protocols.
Disneyland made similar changes weeks prior, following state guidance.
According to state figures, there were 907 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, down from 927 on Tuesday. Of those patients, 157 were being treated in intensive care, down from 174 the previous day.
On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to release its weekly update of virus activity in communities across the country. Last week, that data -- which is based largely on hospital admissions and bed availability -- placed Los Angeles County in the ``high'' category of virus activity, meaning a continued recommendation for mask wearing.
But county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said earlier this week that when the CDC issues its updated numbers today, the county is expected to fall into the agency's medium- or low-risk category, removing the federal recommendation for masks in most indoor settings.
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
If that occurs, Ferrer said the county will issue a new Health Officer Order -- taking effect Friday -- that removes the county's long-standing
mandate for people to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. That move will put the county in alignment with the state, which dropped its mask mandate on Tuesday.
Mask-wearing, however, will continue to be "strongly recommended,'' particularly in crowded settings or while interacting with people at higher risk of severe illness from the virus.