The Los Angeles County Business Federation today asked Los Angeles County health officials to consider alternatives to a universal indoor mask mandate that will take effect July 29.
The federation, known as BizFed and made up of more than 225 business organizations representing 410,000 employers across Los Angeles County, asked for a mask advisory order that would provide educational campaigns and increased signage in public spaces that encourage voluntary masking.
The request from BizFed is rooted in frustration from business owners about having to enforce universal mask mandates that the organization said will stymie economic recovery, confuse residents and further erode public trust in governing bodies.
“This is not a debate about choosing between lives and livelihoods. This is a discussion about educating and empowering Angelenos to make smart choices about protecting their health, our workers and the region’s collective ability to weather this latest wave of infections,” Tracy Hernandez, the founding chief executive of BizFed, said in a statement. “We can do better than a heavy-handed mandate at this stage of pandemic recovery and endemic recalibration.”
In all, 6,450 Covid-19 cases were reported yesterday as positivity rates have steadily climbed over the last two months. The current level of transmission is higher than the surge seen last summer but is significantly less than the winter surge.
BizFed further argued that a return to universal indoor masking is at odds with California’s endemic roadmap and that it threatens to place a competitive disadvantage on local businesses competing with ones in other counties that will not have the same mandate.
“The economic impacts of the pandemic must be monitored alongside the public health and social impacts. It’s possible to protect people, jobs and our sense of community by compromising instead of arm twisting,” Hernandez added.