Los Angeles County has dropped plans to reintroduce a Covid-19 mask mandate amid falling number of cases.
Health officials in the county, which has a population of 10 million people, had planned to make masks indoors mandatory from Friday.
But with hospitalisations falling and the region set to move back into the “medium” community level of virus spread, officials said on Thursday that they will hold off on taking action.
The county had entered the “high” level on 14 July, which led Health Director Barbara Ferrer to warn that the mask mandate could return.
“It will be a welcome relief if this current surge has peaked,” she said.
The county is still in the “high” level based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but Ms Ferrer said they would wait and analyze their own data.
“Since most of our local data trends have just begun to decline, we decided to take a closer look at the hospital admissions rate using our own data … so that we can get a more precise sense of where we might be headed,” she added.
She said that given the drop in cases they were pressing pause on the mask mandate.
“We will be pausing and not moving forward at this time,” she said. The threat of a new mandate had resulted in several cities within LA County, including Beverly Hills and Long Beach, to announce that they would not enforce it.
As of Thursday afternoon, LA County reported 7,009 new cases and 18 new deaths.