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L.A. County considers requiring its 100,000 employees to show proof of vaccination

A woman points to assist a masked customer at her store.
Delilah Snell, owner of Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana, assists one of her regular customers on Aug. 1.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County employees could soon be required to either show proof that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 or be tested for the virus once a week.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors will discuss the proposal, which would apply to all of the county’s more than 100,000 employees, at their meeting next Tuesday.

Under the proposal, vaccinations would be mandated for county healthcare workers. Other county employees would have the option of either vaccination or regular testing.

The board will also consider whether it can require county contractors to be vaccinated or tested.

“With increasing spread of the Delta variant, the Board of Supervisors must also take the common-sense and important step of requiring county healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl said in their motion outlining the possible mandates. “Too many of our residents have already lost their lives to this virus, and we must do everything we can to protect their health.”

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The county employs about 23,000 workers at 26 health centers and four acute care hospitals, including LAC+USC Medical Center and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, as well as the juvenile justice system and jails.

If the plan is approved, L.A. County would joining a growing number of institutions requiring vaccination verification.

Some cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Pasadena are requiring proof of vaccination from employees. The University of California and Cal State University systems are requiring vaccinations for students returning to campus.

Those who work for the state of California soon will be required to show proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

If they aren’t vaccinated, or decline to show such documentation, they’ll have to be tested regularly for infection. The vaccine-or-testing regimen also applies to healthcare workers in public and private settings, regardless of their employer.

On Monday, Kaiser Permanente announced it will make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for all employees and physicians. The Oakland-based healthcare giant said nearly a quarter of its 240,000 employees remain unvaccinated. Other firms are taking similar actions.

A growing number of restaurants are requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test for customers.


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