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Los Angeles Now Has One of the Strictest COVID Protocols in the Country

Los Angeles Now Has One of the Strictest COVID Protocols in the Country

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles, California, City Council approved one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates in a sweeping measure that requires the shots for everyone entering bars, restaurants, nail salons, gyms, or even a Lakers game. The move came after the City Council postponed a vote last week to deal with concerns ranging from who could be fined for violations to whether employees could end up in fist-fights when they have to serve as vaccine door monitors.

The City Council voted 11-2 in favor of the ordinance that will require proof of full vaccination for patrons and workers starting November 4th, and Mayor Eric Garcetti signed it Wednesday afternoon. “Vaccinating more Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic, and we must do everything in our power to keep pushing those numbers up,” Garcetti said in a statement. “These new rules will encourage more people to get the shot, and make businesses safer for workers and customers — so that we can save more lives.”

The ordinance would require people to be fully vaccinated to enter indoor public spaces including shopping malls, restaurants, bars, gyms, sports arenas, museums, spas, nail salons, indoor city facilities, and other locations. Current vaccine eligibility includes people age 12 and up. Children under that age aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine.

Negative coronavirus tests within 72 hours of entry to those places would be required for people with religious or medical exemptions for vaccinations. Customers without proof can still use outdoor facilities and can briefly enter a business to use a restroom or pick up a food order.

Of LA county’s roughly 10 million residents, 78% have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 69% are fully vaccinated, according to public health officials. The county on Wednesday reported 31 new deaths and nearly 1,500 new cases of COVID-19. Health officials said the county has reported 14 deaths a day, on average, even though deaths and hospitalization figures have plunged by some 50% since late August.

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California health officials reported more than 5,000 new cases statewide, mostly among the unvaccinated. Nearly 85% of eligible Californians have received at least one vaccine dose.

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