Proof of at least partial vaccination against Covid-19 would be required to enter public indoor spaces in the city of Los Angeles, including restaurants, bars, gyms, concert venues, movie theaters and even “retail establishments,” under a proposal introduced Wednesday by City Council President Nury Martinez.
“Enough is enough already,” said Martinez, who co-introduced the motion with Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. “Hospital workers are exhausted, moms who have put aside their careers are tired, and our kids cannot afford the loss
of another school year. We have three vaccines that work and are readily available, so what’s it going to take?”
Today I introduced legislation with @MitchOFarrell to require proof of COVID vaccination to enter indoor public spaces throughout the City of LA.
So many Angelenos stepped up and did their part. They shouldn't be penalized with closures by those unwilling to do theirs. pic.twitter.com/ebj0phJ5wZ
— Nury Martinez (@CD6Nury) August 4, 2021
The proposal is similar to a policy announced this week in New York City, but it would be more restrictive with the inclusion of retail establishments, potentially limiting access to some basic necessities. The New York policy restricts access only to more entertainment-oriented venues such as indoor restaurants, fitness centers and theaters.
According to O’Farrell’s office, the exact businesses that would fall under the restrictions would be determined during the drafting of the ordinance by city attorneys. No determination has been made on whether such retail restrictions would extend to grocery stores.
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New York City Mandates Covid Vaccinations For Indoor Entertainment, Performances, Restaurants & Gyms
On the masking front, the Orange County Board of Education plans to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom over the state’s mandate that K-12 students must wear masks indoors for the upcoming school year.
The O.C. school board voted Tuesday night to pursue a legal challenge to Newsom’s ongoing assertion of emergency rule-making powers due to the coronavirus pandemic, specifically the school mask mandate, which was issued last month.
“When necessary, the board will fight to protect the health, safety and welfare of our county’s kids at school. Unfortunately, with the governor’s most recent action to force Orange County’s children, even those as young as 5 and 6 years old, to endure an academic year covering their faces for hours on end, the time to fight has come again,” according to a statement on the board’s website.
The L.A. motion, if passed by the City Council, would instruct the city attorney to prepare an ordinance requiring “eligible individuals” to have received at least one dose of the vaccine before entering indoor spaces in the city. The council next meets Friday at 10 a.m.
The motion would also instruct the Community Investment for Families Department to report immediately on how to expand the Vax UP L.A. campaign and what resources are needed for a citywide outreach and education program in an effort to expand vaccine coverage.
If the measure is approved, the Chief Legislative Analyst would work with other city departments to create an implementation strategy for the requirement and the city attorney would report to council with a course of action for ensuring compliance.
“Hard-working Angelenos, their customers and the general public deserve to be safe in public spaces,” O’Farrell said. “The vaccines are our most effective form of protection, and the time to act is now.”
Proud to introduce this today with @CD6Nury.
Hard-working Angelenos, their customers, and the general public deserve to be safe in public spaces.
The time to act is now. https://t.co/2TRjIzfOJ0
— Mitch O'Farrell (@MitchOFarrell) August 4, 2021
Los Angeles County Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl have announced they will ask their colleagues next week to approve a policy requiring all 100,000 county employees to either be vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo weekly testing.
“We have a responsibility to protect our employees, the residents who depend on them and lead by example,” Hahn wrote in a Twitter post Tuesday announcing the motion, which will go before the board next week.
If approved, the motion would ask the county CEO, attorneys and Department of Human Resources to develop a vaccination policy for employees within 15 days, requiring them “to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or be tested at least once per week.”
Newsom announced last week that all state employees and all workers at public and private health-care facilities in California will be required to be vaccinated or get tested at least once per week. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti followed suit, putting forth similar policies for municipal employees.
L.A. County health officials continue to urge vaccinations as the best defense against infections, which are disproportionately affecting the unvaccinated and landing them in hospitals. And partial vaccination — meaning only one shot of two — is much less protective than full vaccination.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week that of all the people who were hospitalized in the county due to Covid-19 in June, 92% were either unvaccinated entirely or not fully vaccinated. The figure was 95% in May. For the first 10 days of July — the most recent statistic available — the rate was 91%. The rising number of vaccinated Angelenos in hospitals is likely due to the more transmissive Delta varaint.
Ferrer also said that 99.8% of the Covid fatalities in the county during the first six months of the year occurred among the unvaccinated. The rate was 96% from April 1 to June 30, a period during which vaccines were more widely available.
Of the county’s 10.3 million residents, 60% have received at least one dose and 52% are fully vaccinated. Roughly 1.3 million residents under age 12 remain ineligible for the vaccine.
Among residents age 16 and over, 72% have received at least one dose, and 63% are fully vaccinated, according to the most recent county figures. The rates are significantly higher among older residents, with 89% of county residents aged 65 and over with at least one dose, and 79% fully vaccinated.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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