Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal breaks down the latest COVID-19 developments as major cities enact mask and vaccine mandates.
JARED BLIKRE: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. I'm Jared Blikre. To mask or not to mask, that is the question. Well, if you're in LA and you're going to a large outdoor event, it's going to be required. But if you're here in New York going to that massive Central Park event this Saturday, vaccination yes, masks are optional. And here with all the details is Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal. What's going on here, Allie?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: That's right, Jared. So last night at midnight, LA County enacting that mask mandate for all outdoor concerts, festivals, sporting events, basically any event that has over 10,000 people. Regardless of vaccination status, you are going to have to wear a mask.
Now, this comes amid the rapid spread of the Delta variant with other counties and municipalities taking similar measures. The La County Public Health Department reported nearly 2,500 new cases of COVID on Monday with five deaths. Now, historically speaking, LA has been very aggressive in this pandemic.
Last month, for example, the county reinstated its indoor mask mandate for most public spaces. Washington DC, Chicago, and San Diego soon followed with similar indoor mask mandates of their own. And then as you mentioned, over on the East Coast, we have this massive concert coming up in Central Park to celebrate New York City's reopening, a little ironic considering I think we're taking a few steps back here when it comes to the pandemic.
But because it's outdoors, because you have to show proof of vaccination in order to get into the concert, masks are optional. And that's something that New York City is doing for basically all of the industries. If you want to get into a restaurant, a gym, concerts, Broadway, you are going to have to show that proof of vaccination.
Now, there has been further questions on how you are going to enforce this. Our Yahoo Finance reporter Rick Newman has a piece out on how easy it is to acquire fake COVID-19 vaccine cards. You don't even have to go to the dark web. You can just log on to Facebook and purchase these for around $100.
So I'm sure it's going to be a bit chaotic in these weeks and months to come. We'll see how that plays out. But it's very interesting to see how different we are now with all these mask mandates, vaccine mandates, compared to where we were in May, when it looked like we were really overcoming this pandemic.
- Allie, when you talk about these mandates, you could argue that it's almost easier to enforce them in a place like New York or LA, where the vaccination rates have been very high in comparison to the rest of the country. What's the outlook for some of these states where we haven't seen that kind of vaccination, especially in Southern states where hospitalizations as well as case counts have been on the rise?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, and we have been closely monitoring those states like Texas and Florida, both of those governors of banning mask mandates. We have seen school districts, for example, defying those orders, trying to find loopholes to get around this, some school districts making masks a part of the dress code to try and protect those students and faculty. Yahoo Finance did get a chance to speak with the mayor of Fort Lauderdale yesterday. He said if he had the chance to sit down with Governor Ron DeSantis, he would plead with him to change his stance on masks. Here's a little more of what he had to say.
- Out of over 260,000 students here in Broward County, yesterday they received only 190 requests for medical waivers for kids not have to wear a mask. So people are willing to do it. There's no problem with it. And so if there's an ultimate political agenda trying to appeal that some sort of outlier group, thinking that's going to advance a person politically, I just think that they're misjudging what people really want.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: And over the past seven days, Florida had the highest COVID case count in the nation as well as the highest rate of hospitalizations. We'll see if that changes the governor's stance, but for now, there is that ban on mask mandates.