LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Face masks will no longer be required in Los Angeles Superior Court buildings beginning April 4, the court's presiding judge announced today.
The move aligns the courts with the county and state's COVID-19 face- covering guidelines, which only recommend masks in indoor settings, but do not mandate them.
``For two years, the court has followed the guidance and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the (county Department of Public Health), while balancing public health and safe access to justice in the nation's largest trial court,'' Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor said in a statement. ``Since the winter COVID-19 surge peaked in LA County in mid-January, LADPH indicates that `case and test positivity rates and hospitalizations have consistently declined.'
``These benchmarks have guided the court's measured approach during the pandemic. While new case reports have declined, LADPH strongly recommends the use of well-fitting medical masks or respirators for all persons regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public settings and the court's policy will align with this guidance effective April 4.''
Like the state and county, the court system will ``strongly recommend'' that courthouse visitors wear a well-fitting mask, such as N95, KN95 or KF94, particularly for people at heightened risk of severe illness from COVID-19.