Masks now required indoors in Ventura County

With hopes to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, the Ventura County Public Health Department issued a new health order that requires individuals to wear a mask in indoor settings regardless of their vaccination status. 

This makes Ventura County the fourth county in Southern California, joining Los Angeles, Imperial and Santa Barbara counties, to issue an indoor mask mandate since the surge of the Delta variant.

"Masking indoors must again become a normal practice by all, regardless of vaccinations status, so that we can stop the trends and level of transmission we are currently seeing," said Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin in a press release. 

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The order specifies that face coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose "in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and workplaces." This includes but is not limited to restaurants and bars, gyms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, conference and event centers, and government offices. 

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According to the mandate, businesses and other indoor establishments have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to comply. County health officials said the order will be in effect through Sept. 19 "or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the Health Officer."

A restaurant working said she has already received some pushback. 

"We stopped [wearing masks] because things were getting better and then the Delta variant happened. I tell them to wear it. I obviously can’t force them but I just hope that they learn that it is for the better and it really doesn’t harm anyone just to wear it," a restaurant worker told FOX 11’s Mario Ramirez.

However, not everyone agrees.

"I don’t think it’s right. It’s against my way of thinking and there’s no scientific facts to prove anything other than it controls people," a Ventura County resident said. 

Businesses and venues are also required to post signage at all entry points to communicate the mask mandate.