With a SoFi Super Bowl Imminent, It’s Not Time To Throw Out Mask Rules, Leaders Say

With the Super Bowl in Inglewood in just two weeks, public health and elected leaders pushed back Wednesday, Feb. 2, on calls to lift Los Angeles County’s masking mandates, citing still high coronavirus transmission rates.

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They acknowledged that much will be left to personal responsibility on a Super Bowl mega-stage when such rules cannot be consistently enforced. But that doesn’t mean throw the current rules out, they said.

Not yet, anyway, they said.

Many fans seated at last Sunday’s NFC Championship at SoFi Stadium were seen not wearing masks, sparking calls to do away with masking rules altogether, given that actually fully enforcing the rule is not possible. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom also stirred social-media heat after photos were posted of them posing maskless with former Lakers great Magic Johnson.

“We’re still in a surge .. .,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer at a news conference at SoFi Stadium, where she joined Garcetti, Supervisor Holly Mitchell, Inglewood Mayor James Butts and NFL officials. “It’s absolutely essential when you’re really experiencing this much community transmission to add in an additional layer of protection. In a large crowd …  putting on this layer is a critically important way to continue to stay focused on getting community transmission down.”

The message came in response to Los Angeles County Supervisors Kathryn Barger, who this week called on local and state officials to reassess the mask mandate. Barger and other critics argue that as the omicron variant wanes, and more become vaccinated, it should be up to the individual whether to wear a mask — especially when there’s spotty compliance at mega events anyway.

“Let’s do away with blanket COVID-19 masking policies — they don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced,” Barger said this week, noting that modern stadiums like SoFi have strong air circulation and all in the house are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.

But Barger’s statement baffled Mitchell, who said the masking rules aren’t just for the benefit of fans’ public health. She pointed to concerns from many workers at venues — ticket takers, security workers — across L.A. who she said were concerned about non-mask-wearing patrons.

“That’s my responsibility and obligation, and I will continue to stand and do so,” Mitchell said.

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Comments

  1. Robin Itzler says

    If masks work so well, no one in blue states would be getting COVID or the number of COVID patients would be extremely low. At the same time, many in red states would be getting the virus.

    Masks are a form of CONTROL and that’s why blue states and/or blue cities run by Democrats still have mask mandates, while free red states/cities are living relatively normal lives.

  2. John the Patriot says

    If masks work, then how come mask don’t work? Ask Governor Climate Change, Mayor Tony Toni Tone, and Mayor Yoga Pants.

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