The Los Angeles County health chief has refused to rule out the return of mask mandates for the public, arguing that masking is “a reasonable request” during “this pandemic.”
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that “ever” is not a word she is willing to use in reference to future mask mandates.
She warns that, while masking is not a requirement currently in California, the policy could change.
The comments come despite the pandemic long being declared over.
However, Democrats and their allies in the media are continuing to push for the return of Covid restrictions ahead of the critical 2024 election.
As Slay News reported earlier, the White House has just announced that Democrat President Joe Biden will now be wearing a mask indoors for the foreseeable future.
Wearing a mask as she stood alone, Ferrer delivered remarks about potential masking during a media briefing.
As Newsweek reported, Ferrer noted during the press event that COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in the county and that cases had doubled over the past week.
However, there is no evidence that the new 2024 election variants pose an increased risk to the public and no additional deaths have been recorded.
“[If] there’s a lot of spread or a potential for a lot of spread, masks are generally required,” Ferren said.
“I would say because we’ve had many more outbreaks at other periods of time — a higher number of outbreaks — those have been times where many more places have been told that their employees have to mask.”
“I will say [masking is] a reasonable request, it usually lasts until we close the outbreak in general, 14-21 days out we stop seeing cases,” she added.
The top health official was then asked by a reporter about wearing masks in schools and if mandatory masking will return.
“At this point, when should people wear masks in schools, and is it ever mandatory?” the journalist asked.
“‘Ever’ is not a word I’m comfortable with,” Ferrer replied.
“Everyone knows that I think by now that there’s no place with that level of certainty with this pandemic.”
“I’m not going to say there’s never going to be a time where we might need to all put our masks back on,” she then explained.
“I am going to say we certainly don’t all need to put our masks back on now.”
“We are in a space where people assess their own risk or the risk of their family members,” the health director concluded.
According to public health data, Los Angeles County is averaging 571 COVID-19 cases per week and one death.
Since February 2022, more than half of all hospitalized Covid cases in Los Angeles County have been discovered by “incidental” detection.
This means the patient came to the hospital for a different reason, unrelated to Covid, and was unaware they had the virus until they were tested.