Los Angeles County Sheriff Refuses to Enforce New Mask Mandate Saying it is “Not Based in Science”

Written by Will Hekman

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva will not enforce the new mask mandate set by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. The new mask requirement went into effect this weekend after there was a rise in cases. This new requirement only comes after California lifted its mask mandate for all vaccinated people last month. 

Sheriff Villanueva hit back at the mandate saying that the new mandate is not backed by science or the CDC. “The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has authority to enforce the order, but the underfunded/defunded Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance,” Villanueva also stated, “We encourage the DPH to work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and law enforcement to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.” 

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also voiced her concerns, saying the mandate creates confusion, “I am concerned by rising cases, but I don’t believe the mask mandate will help efforts to stress vaccine efficacy and compel unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated. LA County should remain aligned with the State instead of creating confusion and disagreement at the local level.” The new mask mandate requires all indoor spaces such as gyms, retail stores, offices, and restaurants to require a mask when not eating or drinking. 

The LA County Public Health Department stated that the COVID-19 positivity rate increased 700% of the month, from .5% to 3.7%,  and is urging people to get vaccinated. It is unclear how long the new mandate will remain in effect, but with the rise in the Delta Variant many worry that another lockdown could be on the horizon.