Los Angeles County will issue a new COVID-19 health order effective Friday that will again require masks to be worn on all public transit within the county, including buses, trains, taxis and ridehailing service vehicles.
The order will also again require masks at all indoor public transportation hubs, including airport and bus terminals. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says the order is based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's opinion that mask-wearing on transit remains an essential step in preventing spread of COVID-19.
It comes after LA Metro announced this week that face masks on all Metro bus and rail lines in LA County would be strongly recommended, but no longer required. It followed a Florida federal court decision on Monday that eliminated the mask mandate on public transportation and airplanes nationwide.
NBC left a message for Metro to see if this changes their plans.
The order also comes as county health officials urged parents and students to be vigilant as classes resume following spring break to protect against spread of COVID-19, calling on anyone showing signs of illness to stay home and announcing plans for school-based vaccination clinics across the region.
"As schools re-open after the spring break and spring holidays, additional precautions are warranted given the increased circulation of the more infectious BA.2 subvariant in LA County," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. "Identifying those who are infected early so that they can isolate from others requires continued emphasis on testing. This is especially important at schools and we urge parents to take advantage of school sponsored testing opportunities, including using the antigen test kits sent home before the spring break and allowing their children to participate in routine school-based testing.
"And while masking indoors is not required at most schools, safety at schools is significantly improved if students and staff are wearing high quality, well-fitting masks when indoors. This is particularly important at schools where testing after the spring break indicates significant numbers of infected students and staff."