L.A. County Renews Mask Mandate for Outdoor 'Mega Events'

Hollywood Bowl
Adam Latham

Hollywood Bowl

The order goes into effect at midnight on Thursday, extending a mandate that currently covers indoor public spaces such as gyms, restaurants, bars and movie theaters.

Time to mask up at outdoor “mega-events,” such as concerts, fairs, festivals and sporting events, per new guidelines issued by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

The new order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday and will require all attendees of large-scale gatherings to wear a facial covering “except when actively eating or drinking.” A mask mandate had already been in place for indoor spaces like gyms, restaurants, bars and movie theaters since July 17 due to rising transmission of the infectious COVID-19 delta variant, and applies to all residents “regardless of vaccination status.”

Per L.A. County, an “outdoor mega-event” is one that hosts upwards of 10,000 people in one location. “These events are considered higher risk for COVID-19 transmission,” and the owners and operators of such events are charged with enforcing the policy.

The order clarifies recommendations and states that individuals must always wear a face mask “except while eating or drinking, which is the limited time during which the mask can be removed briefly to eat or drink, after which it must be immediately put back on. Patrons, customers or guests must be seated at a table or positioned at a stationary counter, ticketed seat or place while actively eating or drinking indoors, or while actively eating or drinking at an outdoor mega event.”

The news comes as the county reported on Monday that five more residents have died from the virus, with 2,426 new cases and 1,653 patients currently hospitalized. The full order can be found here.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.