New public health order to take effect Oct. 7
As the Delta variant continues to spread across the Southland, Los Angeles County officials are set to unveil stricter vaccine requirements for patrons of certain public events spaces, including bars and nightclubs.
According to a statement released this week, “The modified Health Officer Order would require customers and employees at bars, breweries, wineries, night clubs and lounges to have at least one dose of the vaccine by October 7 and both doses by November 4.”
The county is set to formally announce the new mandate later this week.
Currently, the public health rules state that indoor restaurants are not required to ask customers for indoor restaurants and bars — it only “strongly recommends” it.
Those attending indoor “mega events” — like sporting events and concerts — are already required to either show COVID-19 vaccination proof or proof of a recent negative test result.
The county is actually experiencing a dip in hospitalizations (a decrease of 219 daily hospitalizations) and positivity rates, but LA County Dept. of Public Health believes that the order is designed to avoid another surge in infection and death rates.
It is unclear whether Pasadena and Long Beach — which are within county limits but operate through their own public health departments — will take up the same mandate and within the same timeline.
“This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of LA County Public Health, said in a statement released on Wednesday, Sept. 15 “This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”
Ferrer added that the county will assist businesses to help them confirm vaccinations and enforce the stricter mandate.
Before the county announced the modified rules, West Hollywood, home of some of the city’s most popular nightlife destinations, released its own vaccine mandate last week.
West Hollywood’s order applies not just to restaurants and bars, but also gyms, salons and other indoor businesses.
According to a press release from LA County Public Health, the county has administered nearly 12 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 5.9 million residents aged 12 and above are fully vaccinated, as of Monday, Sept. 13.
The county added that vaccinations among teens also increased: as of Sept. 12, 63% of county teens between 12 and 15 years old received at least one vaccine dose and 53% were fully vaccinated.
Among 16- and 17-year-olds, 70% had at least one dose and 61% were fully vaccinated.