LA Health Director Confident Patrons, Bars Will Comply With Vaccine Mandate
Los Angeles County's public health director said today she was confident indoor bars, nightclubs and breweries -- and their customers -- will comply with a new order requiring all patrons and employees to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
A revised Health Officer Order expected to be issued Friday will require proof of vaccination for all customers and employees in indoor portions of bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges. All patrons and employees will need at least one dose of vaccine by Oct. 7, and a second dose by Nov. 4.
The order will recommend, but not require, vaccine verification for employees and customers in indoor portions of restaurants.
The order will also require all attendees and employees at outdoor mega-events with 10,000 people or more to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours. That requirement, which will take effect Oct. 7, will affect all major outdoor sporting events, and will also impact large theme parks, such as Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Attendees at indoor mega-events are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday everything the county can do to reduce the risk of COVID transmission -- especially ahead of the winter months -- is worthwhile.
“None of this is perfect,'' she said during an online media briefing. “We're living through a pandemic and, you know, unfortunately, there are no silver bullets at this point, particularly when there are high rates of community transmission, which is what we are still experiencing in L.A. County. But anything we can do to reduce risk in high-risk settings is appropriate to do.
And I don't think there's a disagreement on the basic science here. But if you are fully vaccinated, you are less likely than unvaccinated people to become infected.''
She said county health inspectors will visit affected businesses to ensure compliance, but she was confident they would abide by the rules.
“We spent 20 months together as an L.A. community really relying heavily on everybody understanding the reasons for the rules and abiding by the best of their ability to what they're being asked to do,'' she said. “And I want to give a lot of credit to our bars, our nightclubs, our lounges, our restaurants, our businesses, our large event venues who have been with us on this journey for many, many months with many different requirements placed on them depending on what we were seeing in terms of transmission.
“So I have a lot of confidence we will have high compliance with these requirements,'' she said. “As always we will be sending out our health inspectors to provide technical assistance and support. As with every other health officer order, folks who continue to violate the orders are subject to citation. We've issued very few citations. I think that really speaks to the level of cooperation. We're in this together. And frankly, at this point, everything we can do to avoid getting ourselves positioned for another disastrous surge in the winter is something we're all going to unite behind.''
The city of Long Beach, which has its own health department, has said it will align with the county and enact the same regulation for its bars and night spots. There was no immediate word whether the rules would be imposed in Pasadena, which also has its own health agency.