While a federal judge issued a ruling on Monday that struck down a federal mandate requiring people to wear face masks on public transportation and inside transportation hubs like airports, Los Angeles County will still require people to mask up in various transportation settings.
"Public Health is issuing Health Officer Order to note that masking in all public transit within LA County and in LA County indoor transportation hubs continues to be required," the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health noted in a press release.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday
"Per the revised Order, masking continues to be required to be worn by everyone, 2 years of age and older, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status, on public transit within the County. This includes wearing masks on commuter trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares. Masking continues to be also required in indoor transportation hubs including airport and bus terminals, train and subway stations, seaport or other indoor port terminals, or any other indoor area that serves as a transportation hub," the department noted.
The announcement shows a contrast between the county and the state, since the California Department of Public Health on Wednesday announced the end of required masking on public transit.
"In alignment with the CDC's announcement that its order requiring masking on public transportation and at transportation hubs is no longer in effect, effective immediately California's requirement for masking on public transit and in transportation hubs is terminated. CDPH strongly recommends that individuals in these settings continue to wear a mask," the state's department of public health noted.
Mask mandates have been controversial throughout the pandemic — while some Americans support masking requirements, others believe each individual should be allowed to make their own decision about whether to wear a face covering.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Wednesday that it had asked the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal the decision pertaining to the federal transportation-related mask requirement. "It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health," the agency noted.
"As soon as CDC determined that it was important to keep this masking requirement in place, we went ahead and aligned with the CDC," Los Angeles County Department of Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said, according to the Los Angeles Times.