Necessary or excessive? Debate intensifies over potential mask rule for L.A. County

The county appeared set to take that step this week, but recent declines in case numbers could prompt a delay. Still, the idea has sparked debate, with some L.A. communities saying they won't enforce a mask mandate if it comes.

Here's a breakdown of the health issues and politics involving the potential public health order:

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has said L.A. County would reimpose an indoor mask mandate if it reached the high COVID-19 community level, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and remained there for two consecutive weeks. Placement in that category means a county is recording both a significant amount of coronavirus cases and at least 10 new weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations for every 100,000 residents.