LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Public health experts will be asked to weigh in on whether the city of Los Angeles should require people to wear face coverings or masks out in public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a motion by Councilman Paul Koretz that asks for recommendations on a plan that would exempt children 2 years old and younger from wearing the face coverings along with people who have certain underlying health issues, as they may make it harder for those people to breathe.
Any laws considered by the council to require face coverings could be applied to golf courses, beach areas, or other outdoor recreation once the city opens such facilities.
“Face coverings … made of cloth, bandanas, scarves are all okay,” Koretz said. “Medical-grade masks, of course, should be worn by health care workers. Enacting such a policy would help us slow the spread and eventually work toward the phasing of ending … the restrictions.”
Under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s COVID-19 Safer at Home orders, Angelenos are required to wear masks while frequenting businesses allowed to stay open during the pandemic, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
Koretz initially wanted the City Attorney’s Office to draft an ordinance to require face coverings, but that was later amended to just request the report, which is expected to be delivered next week.
Some councilmembers were skeptical of the plan, including Councilman Gil Cedillo said he would like to see information on how the city would enforce such a law.
Councilman John Lee also urged caution on requiring people wearing masks anywhere in public, saying some Angelenos may already feel confined from having to stay at home since March.