Calls grow to end LA County's mask mandate after Newsom, Garcetti pictured maskless at SoFi

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Maskless Garcetti, Newsom pics bring LA County mask mandate into question

After pictures of maskless celebrities and government officials at SoFi Stadium went viral this week, there are growing questions about the need for masking outdoors, even at big events.

While the state of California says you don't have to wear masks outdoors, Los Angeles County still requires masks at outdoor events with more than 500 people.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger wants to end that requirement, and she spoke with us about it on our FOX 11 special report.

Barger also sent an official letter to LA County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer Tuesday night, asking to end the outdoor mask mandate. She also wants the county to align with state rules and no longer require outdoor masking for schools. At this time, there has not been a response from Ferrer.


Earlier this week, Barger urged county officials to re-evaluate the county's COVID-19 mask policy, noting that they "don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced."

"Masking rules set by the state and county weren’t followed consistently by everyone at yesterday’s NFC Championship," Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement Monday. "Instead, we saw individuals choosing to mask up based on calculated personal risk. Modern stadiums like SoFi Stadium have strong air circulation and all attendees of the game were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. Some fans evidently felt this was enough to protect them against COVID-19."

Barger said she believes that individuals should be allowed to make an informed choice about whether to mask up or not. 

"We need to trust the public to make the best personal decisions for themselves based on their unique risks and circumstances," she said.

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Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were facing criticism Monday after photographs surfaced of them during the Los Angeles Rams game Sunday at SoFi Stadium, without the required masks. 

Newsom addressed the criticism during a press conference Monday, saying that he only removed the mask for the photograph. 

"The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should," Newsom said regarding the mask.

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Newsom responds to criticism over maskless photo at Rams NFC Championship game

LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson posted pictures on social media, in a suite with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, among others. In the photos, no one was wearing a mask.

In a statement from Garcetti's communications director, Erin Mellon, Garcetti said he, acknowledged that he took off his mask for a few moments during Sunday's game," and that he "continues to encourage all Californians to do their part" to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.

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