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The Beverly Hills, California, City Council voted unanimously not to enforce a Los Angeles County mask mandate should one be adopted.
“I feel it is our job to lead and I support the power of choice,” Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse said after the voter Monday evening, according to reporting from Fox 11.
The comments come as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has publicly weighed the possibility of adopting an indoor mask mandate in the county, which has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The mandate was reportedly set to go into effect Friday, but Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters cases in the country may be leveling off and “we are likely to want to take a pause on moving too quickly on universal indoor masking.”
But Beverly Hills, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, decided not to wait around for a decision from the health department.
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“Our job is to be proactive and public about what we believe,” Bosse said. “This is a united City Council and community that cares about health. We are not where we were in 2020, and now we need to move forward as a community and be part of the solution.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also opposed the potential move to mask mandates, issuing a statement Monday calling into question how effective mask mandates are in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
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“I have not seen any empirical data that conclusively shows that masking mandates make a difference in decreasing or stopping COVID-19 transmission rates,” Barger wrote in a statement Monday. “An analysis of Alameda County’s June 2022 masking mandate, in fact, concluded it had no significant impact in comparison to its surrounding counties that did not impose a masking mandate. Alameda County dropped this mandate after only three weeks.”