Los Angeles, CA

L.A. County fights COVID-19 with new vaccination mandates

Deanna Barnert

Pandemic virtual town hall scheduled for concerned parents!

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L.A. County seeks to stop the next COVID-19 surge before it starts with updated Health Officer Order(Photo by Deanna Barnert)

(Los Angeles) COVID-19 numbers are going down in Los Angeles, and L.A. County Public Health wants to keep it that way. With the Delta variant now predominant, the county is committed to avoiding the next surge via an updated Health Officer Order that requires vaccination verification or testing for high-risk events like outdoor football games and concerts and vaccination verification for indoor adult social venues. Previous mandates about public masking and indoor mega-events remain in effect, as well.

According to the updated Health Officer Order, Angelenos over 12-years-old will have to present vaccination verification or a negative test within 72 hours to enter outdoor mega-events and venues, starting October 7. This mandate is already in effect for indoor mega-events with over 1000 attendees, including conventions, conferences, expos, concerts, shows, nightclubs, sporting events, live entertainment, and festivals.

Customers and employees inside indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs, and lounges, meanwhile, must have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by October 7 and both doses by November 4. While not mandated for indoor restaurants, vaccine verification is highly recommended.

That means before heading out for some fun in L.A., adults should be sure to have acceptable proof of vaccination status or proof of a negative test, as well as photo identification.

“We believe that targeted vaccination mandates are an important strategy for quickly raising vaccination coverage in our county and ending the pandemic,” L.A. County explained in a release, “and we applaud our President, our Governor, our Board of Supervisors, our cities, and school districts, and business establishments across the county for creating additional safety in spaces where people are intermingling with the use of targeted vaccination mandates.”

According to L.A. County data, those who are not vaccinated increase their chance of contracting COVID-19 fourfold, of being hospitalized 10-fold, and of dying over 10-fold. Locals can find information about vaccination sites and vaccination misinformation via www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish).

With 6 new deaths and 996 new cases of COVID-19 reported in L.A. on September 20, California’s COVID-19 transmission level fell from “high” to “substantial" the same day. L.A. County public health inspectors have found that most businesses have been in compliance with the existing Health Officer Orders. Masking habits tend to fall short, however, at fitness centers, garment manufacturing plants, and retail stores – and inspectors have shut down businesses that aren’t following the rules. In order to help businesses prepare for the upcoming October 7 Health Officer Order update, Public Health will prepare a toolkit and has offered assistance with implementation.

Meanwhile, with most of L.A.'s 1.5 million K-12 students back to in-person learning and many returning to team sports, COVID-19 case rates have not increased. In fact, after an initial surge between mid-July and mid-August, L.A. County has seen case rates decrease by 43 percent across all youth age groups. In addition to a big push to get more teens vaccinated, L.A. County is hosting a virtual town hall for parents on Thursday, September 23 at 6 p.m. via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Topics on the agenda include updates on COVID-19 cases among children, youth sports, vaccine mandates, and vaccines for children aged 5-11. Locals can submit questions via this site.

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Deanna Barnert is a Los Angeles native and entertainment journalist with thousands of news stories, features and profiles published internationally. A member of the Television Critics Association, she’s written for "Emmy" magazine, MSN.com and SheKnows.com, served as News Editor for "Soaps In Depth," and interviewed some of your favorite stars and creators. A true Angeleno, Deanna knows L.A. is the best place to live... and the worst! She made her hometown more accessible to newcomers via her contribution to "The Complete Resident’s Guide to Los Angeles" and its pocket mini, "The Essential Tourist Guide" -- and now she's doing it for NewsBreak! Deanna is an avid traveler who lived in Madrid, Spain, for two years and did some time in NYC, but she always comes home. Check out what Deanna’s doing now by following @TVDeeva on social media.

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