As a new wave of COVID-19 infections hits the area, the Huntington Beach City Council this week voted to ban the implementation of COVID vaccine and mask requirements in the city.
City Council approved the motion, put forward by Pro Tem Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark, by a 4-3 vote at a Tuesday meeting.
The motion claimed that mask requirements that were previously imposed in the city “unnecessarily limit the freedoms of Huntington Beach citizens, even those who were not in close proximity to people who tested positive for COVID-19 or were at risk of being exhibited”. The ban applies to city staff, not private city businesses.
The motion also calls for the city manager to return to council at the next meeting to declare the city “mask-free and vaccination mandate-free.”
“Individuals, whether in city hall or in the private sector, should have the right to choose whether to wear a mask or to be vaccinated or to be vaccinated,” according to the motion.
Orange County has seen a recent surge of positive COVID cases, according to county health data. The positivity rate was 17.6% on August 29, down from 15.8% about a month earlier.
The positivity rate for coronavirus cases across California was 13.4% on August 25, an increase from earlier in the summer, when the rate hovered around 4%.
Experts say coronavirus cases have risen over the summer due to an uptick in summer travel, an increase in maskless activities and most residents have been away for months. have not received any reminders.
In the Los Angeles area, a number of entertainment industry work sites have recently experienced outbreaks, including the Directors Guild of America, ‘The Masked Singer’ studio at Red Studios Hollywood, Lionsgate Entertainment at Santa Monica and Walt Disney Feature Animation in Burbank. , according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.