LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County on Friday began requiring masks at large outdoor events, such as concerts, festivals and sports games with 10,000 attendees or more.
While not everyone is on board with the change, some Dodgers fans agree that it’s the right thing to do.
Craig Ochoa, who says attending games takes a team effort, said the new rule is a way to take care of ourselves and others.
“We’re not able to do these things if we’re not personally responsible for one another and ourselves,” Ochoa said. “It’s a communal experience. That’s part of what we’ve been missing these last 18 or so months. And it’s part of the healing process for us to get together and do these things. But we have to be responsible.”
The mask mandate applies to all eligible attendees, whether or not they are vaccinated.
Mark Bledstein, a vaccinated sports fan, tested positive for COVID-19 about two weeks ago, but luckily his symptoms were mild due to him being inoculated.
“I think masking is important. I fully agree with the county and the Dodgers… Things might change in six months, but right now there are too many cases like mine going around,” Bledstein said.
Health officials say the changing rules follow new things that scientists are learning about the coronavirus, such as the highly contagious Delta variant.
“It’s a novel virus. We’re learning about it all the time and we’re changing our guidelines in order to meet the science as it evolves,” said UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Anne Rimoin.
Rimoin adds the best way to combat coronavirus is to get vaccinated.
LA County has about 1.3 million children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for inoculation.
“It’s really the unvaccinated that’s really driving this surge in hospitalizations and deaths,” Rimoin said. “You can protect yourself, you can protect your family, you can protect your community by getting vaccinated.”
Daniel Garcia, a local resident, believes he should decide how to care for his neighbors and said he’d prefer not to wear a mask.
“I do not agree with the mandate,” he said.
Attendees at these large outdoor events will be allowed to remove their masks while eating and drinking.