On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that, due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases within the county and the continued transmission risk, vaccination mandates would be expanded to include workers and customers at all bars and night clubs and large outdoor events like concerts and sporting events.
Specifically, the updated mandate would fall under the vaccination lines set by President Joe Biden’s vaccination policy plan released last week. Under the new LA County mandate, all outdoor mega-events with more than 10,000 people, such as sporting events, concerts, and theme parks, will require either a full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours before going by October 7th.
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The modified Health Officer Order would also require all workers and customers at indoor bars, breweries, wineries, night clubs, and lounges to have at least one dose of the vaccine by October 7th and both doses by November 4th. While not under the mandate, vaccine verification at indoor restaurants was also highly recommended.
The updated health order also expands more recent additions to the Health Order, such as the indoor mega event mandate that requires proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Public Health to Modify Health Officer Order Adding Vaccination Verification Requirements at Select High-Risk Settings. 37 New Deaths and 1,930 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. View https://t.co/vEPcjxbBEM pic.twitter.com/P2xPTtCII7
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) September 15, 2021
“We in public health believe that targeted vaccination mandates are an important strategy for quickly raising vaccination coverage in our county and ending the pandemic, and we applaud our President, our Governor, our Board of Supervisors, our cities and school districts, and business establishments across the county for creating additional safety in spaces where people are intermingling with the use of targeted vaccination mandates,” said Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer on Wednesday. “As evidence mounts affirming the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination mandates are an increasingly important tool to prevent future COVID surges that cause widespread suffering. The modified Health Officer Order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage; this is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”
However, the new mandate addition has brought out significant opposition.
“They’re closing off more and more things to people choosing to not get the vaccine or those who can’t get it,” said Madeline Price, a Southern California paralegal whose firm has been one of several challenging the recent upswing of vaccination mandates. “This isn’t going to help convince people. It’s just going to make people more upset and it means more lawsuits and challenges to cities and counties and states against this. Mandates are already hurting a lot of businesses across the state. And it’s continuing today. A lot of people are going to be turned away from businesses because of this, and right now, that’s the last thing many of them need.”
More mandates in LA County and other counties in the state are expected soon as the most recent COVID-19 surge continues.
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