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Public Health Admonishes Cerritos Mayor Solanki and Barrows for Not Wearing Masks

 

Mayor Naresh Solanki and appointed Councilman Bruce Barrows seen at a Mar. 1, 2021 meeting in council chambers not wearing masks. The agency apparently read LCCN’s opine calling out the officials and sent a letter to City Manager Art Gallucci.

 

April 20, 2021 

The letter below is from Susan Blackwell, Assistant Director of the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Development.

Hello Mr. Gallucci,

It recently came to the attention of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that as reported some public officials attending an in-person Cerritos City Council meeting on March 1 were not adhering to the mandate to wear a mask indoors during a public City Council meeting as required by the  Los Angeles County Health Officer Order and the California Department of Public Health. In addition, all members present were not reportedly adhering to appropriate physical distancing.

As you know, this is a critical period in which some restrictions are being lifted in Los Angeles County as we progressed into the Red Tier under the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. To maintain our progress in reducing case transmission and to ensure we can progress further in the State tier system—and with the concerning emergence of potentially more contagious variants of COVID-19—physical distancing and wearing face masks becomes even more important for controlling disease transmission while vaccine is rolled out more broadly to all residents. We want to avoid having an increase or surge of cases locally as seen in some parts of Europe and elsewhere internationally and even here in the United States where cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are again rising in numerous states and cities.

COVID transmission is more likely to occur when people are not wearing face masks. As such, they are required as part of the Health Officer Orders as well as in the protocols which guide office-based worksites to keep employees safe in the workplace. Although people who are fully vaccinated can be indoors without a mask in certain circumstances, this does not apply to people in a public forum.

All government functions are considered essential and should be performed in compliance with the Social (Physical) Distancing Protocol listed in the Health Officer Order, including keeping at least six feet apart from others while doing business. These protocols are intended to keep employees safe. Although many of the activities of the city staff are essential infrastructure, we urge you to consider which activities are truly essential and can only be done in the workplace as opposed to a telework arrangement.

As we have throughout the pandemic, Public Health recommends that meetings, including city council meetings, should be held virtually to limit contact between non-household members.

As we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge all residents to continue to adhere to the Health Officer Orders which are developed for the health and safety of everyone in the County of Los Angeles. We urge city leadership as well to set a strong example by promoting adherence to the Health Officer Order.

Susan Blackwell

Los Angeles County

Department of Public Health

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