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Pasadena City Hall. (Photo: Evan Symon for California Globe)

Pasadena, Long Beach Public Health Departments Announce NO Indoor Mask Mandates

LA County continues to be fractured on indoor mask mandate

By Evan Symon, July 27, 2022 12:28 pm

In separate statements Tuesday night, the public health departments of both Pasadena and Long Beach, who operate away from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department, noted that they would not be instituting an indoor public mask mandate.

For the last several months, the rise in cases of COVID-19 variants BA.4 and BA.5 led to LA County Public Health officials issuing new warnings that a return to the indoor masking policy was possible if new cases and hospitalizations rate hit the “high” threshold set by the CDC. The County announced on July 15th that they had met the threshold, leaving just two weeks for the rates to drop or else a mask mandate would return on July 29th.

While there has been talk in recent days of the County not instituting the mandate so soon now, most places are preparing for the return, as most still see it returning on Friday as “likely.”

However, the pushback from those in the County in opposing the possible mandate has been widespread. The LA County Chief Medical officer has called the return of the mandate nothing more than “media hype”. Lawsuits have been filed to block the return of the mandate claiming LA County Public Health officials knowingly inflated “hospitalizations“.

And, on Monday, entire cities have been voting to simply not enforce the mandate, with Beverly Hills being the first to do so.

While not affected directly by the LA County Public Health mask mandate, both Pasadena and Long Beach have been pressured to join along with them in prior COVID-related mandates and shutdowns. However, on Tuesday, they broke away from the County influence, with their own separate public health departments announcing that mask mandates would not be coming back.

“Pasadena Public Health Department has determined that jurisdictional COVID-19 confirmed case rates have declined for about 10 days, and local hospitalization metrics have not continued to increase during that time,” said the Pasadena Public Health Department in a statement on Tuesday. “The City of Pasadena health officer will not be issuing a general indoor mask mandate at this time.”

Public Indoor Mask Mandates Rejected

Likewise, Long Beach cited how the California Department of Health was not requiring a mask mandate with city cases and hospitalizations remaining low.

“Despite rising cases, hospitalizations among Long Beach residents remain stable, area hospitals have adequate capacity and fatalities remain low,” said city health officials in Long Beach on Tuesday. “Therefore, regarding masking, the City of Long Beach will continue to align with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which strongly urges, but does not require, masking in most circumstances.”

Political and health experts alike noted on Wednesday that more and more cities opting to either not enforce the mandate or not owing to pressure to pass a mandate of their own might begin to influence other areas of the County to do the same now, with many having low COVID-19 new case and hospitalization rates to back it up.

“The problem simply isn’t there for these cities,” explained Chelsea Lang, an LA County political consultant, in an interview with the Globe on Wednesday. “LA County is becoming more and more of a patchwork now of where you have to mask and don’t have to mask come Friday or when the County decides to bring the mandate back.

“One of a few things may now happen. One: Mandate comes back and the County is filled with compliant areas, areas with no mandate, and areas that are under mandate but with no enforcement. That’s the most likely, and most hellish, option. Two: [LA County Public Health Department head Dr. Barbara] Ferrer grows a conscious and stops the mandate. This has been made considerably more likely this week, with Ferrer herself saying as much. Even their CDC threshold bar is starting to wane. But doing this would have Ferrer lose a lot of political support from certain lawmakers in the city, as it would be seen as bowing to public pressure to them. Three: They try and force full County compliance. This is the most unlikely, especially with Pasadena and Long Beach being independent, but I wouldn’t take anything off the table right now. They’ve had a way with ensuring all fell in line in the past.”

“We don’t want a divided County, but based on the County Public Health Department being so stubborn and not seeing the full picture, it looks like that is where we are heading unfortunately.”

LA County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer is due to give an announcement on Thursday if the masking mandate will go into effect in the County, likely starting on July 29th.

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4 thoughts on “Pasadena, Long Beach Public Health Departments Announce NO Indoor Mask Mandates

  1. Add City of El Segundo to the list who voted to not mandate masks or enforce L.A. County’s potential mask mandate. That’s four municipalities down, 84 to go! Looks like a good bandwagon to jump on to. Join the momentum, cities of L.A. County!

  2. Hallelujah, finally seeing common sense return! This insane elected Government needs to move over for the Red Wave and I cannot wait to see the Tsunami crashing the shores. The Democrats perverted and grotesque agenda needs to be sidelined for good! Wonder, why Hunter Biden is so disgusting? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Take a look at his father, it explains all that we are witnessing!

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