Masks Required at “Mega” Outdoor Events in LA County
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the license for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in people age 16 and over on Monday, August 23, County of Los Angeles Public Health reported.
“The licensing approval was announced after another thorough evaluation of safety and effectiveness data by a panel of scientific and medical experts,” according to Public Health. “FDA-approved vaccines undergo the agency’s standard process for reviewing the quality, safety and effectiveness of medical products.”
The Pfizer vaccine will continue to be available for those between the ages of 12 and 15 and for a third dose for immunocompromised individuals under emergency use authorization.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and remains the most powerful tool we have to both lower our risk of infection, and protect against serious illness and death from COVID-19 if infected,” Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis wrote in a statement. “The other tools to help reduce and prevent transmission are wearing a mask, keeping your distance, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing your hands frequently.”
The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order was amended on August 17 to require universal masking at outdoor mega events, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status—defined as events with crowds greater than 10,000 attendees. Events included are music or food festivals, car shows, large endurance events, marathons, parades, sporting events and concerts.
“Masks are required to be worn by everyone at all times except when actively eating or drinking at these events,” Public Health reported.
The Health Officer Order was amended again on August 23 regarding indoor mega events to align with the state.
“Beginning September 20, all attendees at indoor mega events involving 1,000 or more persons must, prior to entry, show verification of COVID-19 vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 (diagnostic) test result,” the order update read.
This new attendance threshold is lower than the 5,000 attendees that was previously required. After September 20, self-attestation will no longer be permitted as a method for vaccine or negative COVID-19 test verification.
“We are grateful to the many scientists and researchers who have worked tirelessly to develop and evaluate the vaccines during the most challenging public health crisis of our lifetime,” Davis concluded. “We are also grateful to the FDA for their thoughtful analyses and review processes to ensure that we can have the highest confidence that the vaccine is safe and effective. I hope the milestone of this vaccine’s full approval gives those that were waiting to get vaccinated the confidence to now take this important step.”
Anyone 12 and older living or working throughout LA County is eligible to get vaccinated at county-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites. To find a vaccination site or make an appointment, visit vaccinateLAcounty.com.
As the Post went to print Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had reached 1,388,143 across the county when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 25,114 deaths.
Pacific Palisades had reached 1,061 confirmed cases and 15 deaths Tuesday, with an additional 191 cases in Palisades Highlands and one death.
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