LA County to consider vaccine requirement for some indoor spaces

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- As local health officials warn of an "explosion" in COVID-19 infections, Los Angeles County will consider a plan to require proof of vaccination to enter some indoor public spaces.

County Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended the county start looking into the issue, saying she wants to gather advice from public health and other experts over the next two weeks. She emphasized that her motion to consider the issue does not put any new rules into place at this time.

Hahn's plan was introduced on the same day the Board of Supervisors unanimously ratified an order that all county employees - more than 110,000 people - provide proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 by Oct. 1. The board left open the possibility of exemptions and testing rather than vaccines for some employees.

The board was giving its approval to an executive order issued last week by Chair Hilda Solis.

The executive order can be viewed here.

Also Tuesday, the county's public health director warned of an "explosion" in cases, saying they will likely continue to rise at least through September.

Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health, told the Board of Supervisors that the agency will issue a revised health order this week aligning with a new state mandate requiring all workers at health-care facilities to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. But the county's order will be slightly more expansive, including vaccination requirements for emergency medical technicians, paramedics, dental-service workers and home health care workers.

"Over the coming weeks, we will work collaboratively and closely with our health care and labor partners to develop an effective education and implementation strategy,'' Ferrer told the board. "... We favor COVID vaccination for everyone eligible because of the mounting evidence that these vaccines are effective and safe and provide the most powerful tool for ending the pandemic.''

She warned that without a significant increase in vaccinations, infections will continue to rise with the proliferation of the highly infections Delta variant of the virus.

"It's just intolerable to not make good progress given sort of the dangers the Delta variant is presenting," she said.
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