Citing continued increases in transmission of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced earlier this afternoon that it is issuing a mandate to require that all residents wear masks while indoors, whether they are fully vaccinated or not. The precise language of the mandate will be issued sometime Friday and go into effect 11:59 PM Saturday – otherwise known as Sunday.
In making the announcement, LA County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis stated that Los Angeles County is just not where it needs to be in terms of vaccinations. New COVID infections have topped 1,000 for 7 consecutive days, spiking to 1,537 new infections today, the highest number since early March.
Some exceptions will apply similar to masking requirements that were in place before June 15. Details to follow tomorrow.
This applies only in Los Angeles County, albeit the cities of Pasadena and Long Beach are free to use the authority of their separate health departments to deviate, which is not likely to happen if past is prolog, particularly with respect to Long Beach.
For golf, nothing changes with respect to how the game has been played on course, on driving ranges, and on practice putting greens. The only thing that changes is the requirement that when indoors patrons must don a face covering except when eating or drinking.
Whether this presages further curtailments is anybody’s guess, but our guess is that it is highly unlikely that further restrictions affecting golf will be forthcoming even if caseloads continue their current upward trajectory. Whether this stimulates other counties to follow suit and require face coverings indoors is also anybody’s guess, but our guess is that this too is unlikely for reasons having to do with very different caseloads and very different public health departments. Los Angeles County’s numbers are simply more problematic than other counties, and its health department has shown a penchant for exceeding state requirements to a degree unmatched in the region.
We will continue to keep you informed. But we still think it safe to continue concluding that with specific reference to golf, COVID is mostly in the rear-view mirror.
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