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File #: 23-188    Version: 1 Name: Masking Requirements at City Meetings
Type: Minute Order Status: Action Item
File created: 9/7/2022 In control: City Council Meeting Agenda
On agenda: 9/19/2022 Final action:
Title: CC - ACTION ITEM: (1) Discussion Regarding Masking Requirements at Indoor City Council and City Commission, Board and Committee Meetings; and (2) Direction to the City Manager as Deemed Appropriate.

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CC - ACTION ITEM:  (1) Discussion Regarding Masking Requirements at Indoor City Council and City Commission, Board and Committee Meetings; and (2) Direction to the City Manager as Deemed Appropriate.

 

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Meeting Date: September 19, 2022

 

Contact Person/Dept.:                      Shelly Wolfberg/City Manager’s Office

                                                                                    

Phone Number:  (310) 253-6000

 

Fiscal Impact:  Yes []    No [X]                                          General Fund:  Yes []     No [X]

 

Attachments:   Yes []    No [X]   

 

Commission Action Required:     Yes []     No [X]    Date:

Commission Name:

 

Public Notification:  (E-Mail) Meetings and Agendas - City Council; Coronavirus Gov Delivery topic list (09/14/2022)

 

Department Approval:  John M. Nachbar (09/13/2022)

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Staff recommends the City Council (1) discuss the City’s masking requirements at indoor City Council and City Commission, Board and Committee meetings; and (2) provide direction to the City Manager as deemed appropriate.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

On March 14, 2022, at a regular public meeting, the City Council determined that it would resume in-person City Council meetings beginning at its April 11, 2022 regular meeting, and that all City Commissions, Boards and Committees (CBC) would resume in person meetings in April. In an abundance of caution, due to the indoor setting, indoor ventilation issues, and to protect persons who are most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19, including those who are immunocompromised or unable to be vaccinated, the City Council voted to require all persons who attend the in-person City Council and CBC meetings to wear a well-fitted mask while indoors.  (Fortieth Supplement to Public Order, issued on March 16, 2022) 

 

At the April 25, 2022 City Council Meeting, Council Member Eriksson received City Council consensus to agendize monthly consideration of mask requirements. Since that time, this topic has been discussed periodically at City Council meetings.

 

The City Council most recently discussed this topic at the August 8, 2022 City Council Meeting.  As reflected in the August 8th meeting minutes, discussion ensued between staff and Council Members regarding keeping people safe; acknowledging that the virus will be around for a long time; lack of a mandate from the Health Department; reduced levels of Coronavirus in sewage; support for dropping the mask mandate; allowing those that feel a benefit to wearing a mask, be allowed to do it; lack of a scientific basis for requiring masks; revisiting the matter when the level drops down to the medium designation; mask types; and consensus from Mayor Lee and Council Members Fisch and McMorrin to retain the mask mandate.

 

This staff report includes current masking guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH).

 

 

DISCUSSION

 

LACDPH September 2, 2022 Press Release

 

LACDPH issued a Press Release on September 2, 2022 that stated, in part:

 

“With continued declines in hospitalizations and a lower case rate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved LA County into the Low Community Level, reflecting minimal stress on the hospital system in LA County associated with COVID-19. However, viral transmission, with a case rate just below 200, is still high, as it represents about 2500 new cases a day. Residents are therefore asked to continue following sensible safety measures including indoor masking and staying home and away from others if sick to help reduce the rate of transmission.”

 

LACDPH Mask Wearing Rules and Recommendations

LACDPH, states, “It is strongly recommended that people continue to wear masks that fit and filter well in all indoor public places. The spread of COVID-19 continues to be a significant risk for many in Los Angeles County.” 

LACDPH provides the following guidance on wearing masks (with some specific exemptions):

Everyone must wear a mask:

                     On all forms of public transportation in LA County. This includes trains, buses, taxis, and ride-shares.

                     In all indoor transportation hubs in LA County, including airport and bus terminals, train and subway stations, seaports or other indoor port terminals, or any other indoor area that serves as a transportation hub.

                     In healthcare settings.

                     In long-term care settings and adult/senior care facilities.

                     In state and local correctional facilities and detention centers.

                     Shelters and cooling centers.

                     In any other location where it is the policy of the business or venue.

Masks are strongly recommended for everyone in:

                     Airplanes

                     Indoor public settings and businesses such as retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, cardrooms, meetings, and state and local government offices that serve the public.

                     Indoors at K-12 schools and daycare

Additional mask recommendations:

                     Masks are strongly recommended indoors or in crowded outdoor settings for people at high risk of severe illness, or who live with someone who is at high risk. Masks that provide the best protection against COVID-19 should be worn. Examples include a well-fitting respirator (e.g., N95, KN95) or a double mask (a well-fitting cloth mask over a medical mask).

                     Masks are strongly recommended for people who are gathering indoors with people who are at high risk of severe illness.

 

As of September 7, 2022, LACDPH reports:

 

                     1,737 new COVID-19 cases (3,421,995 cases to date)

                     10 new deaths due to COVID-19 (33,227 deaths to date)

                     783 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19

                     More than 12,491,000 individuals tested; 24% of people tested positive to date

 

Data is by date reported by LACDPH, but does not necessarily represent the date of testing, hospitalization, or death and may not capture positive tests on at-home tests, which have become abundant and widely available.

 

Per City Council direction, the purpose of this item is to discuss the masking requirement for all persons who attend the in-person indoor City Council and CBC meetings.  If the City Council gives direction to remove the masking requirement, the City Manager would issue a Supplement to Public Order, rescinding the indoor mask requirement in the Fortieth Supplement.  Staff would subsequently return to the City Council with a Resolution confirming the City Manager’s Public Order, as required by the Culver City Municipal Code.

 

 

FISCAL ANALYSIS

 

There is no fiscal impact for the City Council to discuss this matter.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

None.

 

 

MOTIONS

 

That the City Council:

                     

1.                     Discuss masking requirements at indoor City Council, Commission, Board and Committee meetings; and

2.                     If desired, direct the City Manager to issue a new Supplement to Public Order, rescinding the masking requirement in the Fortieth Supplement for indoor City Council, Commission, Board and Committee meetings;

OR

3.                     Uphold the masking requirement for indoor City Council, Commission, Board and Committee meetings, in accordance with the Fortieth Supplement to Public Order, issued on March 16, 2022;

AND/OR

 

4.                     Provide other direction to the City Manager as deemed appropriate.