Starting at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Los Angeles County will require that people attending large outdoor gatherings, including concerts, sporting events, and festivals, wear a face mask.
"As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread, wearing masks — regardless of vaccination status — indoors and in crowded settings, including at outdoor mega events, reduces the risk of being infected with and transmitting COVID-19," the L.A. County Department of Public Health said in a statement Tuesday.
The mandate covers outdoor events attended by more than 10,000 people, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the order, a mask must be worn at all times, except when a person is actively eating and drinking. In July, when coronavirus cases in California began to rise again, L.A. County reimposed a mask requirement for all indoor public spaces.
The Delta variant is highly contagious, and causing breakthrough infections for people who are fully vaccinated. Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, a deputy health officer for Orange County, California, said last week that COVID is "lingering in the air, so there is still a potential to get COVID when you're outdoors and in close contact or at least in close proximity to others, and you're in social events where people are spitting, singing, coughing, sneezing right in the air that you're breathing."