LOS ANGELES, California: The Los Angeles County sheriff said on Saturday that his office will not enforce newly announced face mask requirements.
The start of the new mask mandate in Los Angeles County was to begin one minute before midnight on Saturday.
The new requirements from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health order the public to wear masks indoors, even if they are vaccinated against the disease.
In refusing to enforce the mandate, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the order is "not backed by science," and that it is contrary to the guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which does not recommend masks being worn when indoors for most vaccinated people.
The sheriff added that he "will not expend our limited resources" and that his office asks for "voluntary compliance" from the public.
The county, with 10 million residents and includes the city of Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest city, is combatting a resurgence of COVID-19, with new infections due to the Delta variant.
The county face mask regulations follow reporting of six straight days of more than 1,000 new of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County.
"We're requiring masking for everyone while indoors at public settings and businesses, regardless of vaccination status, so that we can stop the increased level of transmission we're seeing," the county said on Twitter.
It was not known whether other California law enforcement agencies would also refuse to enforce the face mask mandate.