LA County Employees Will Have To Be Fully Vaccinated By October
All employees of Los Angeles County will be required to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Oct. 1.
The policy applies to all the county’s 110,000 employees, including the sheriff’s and fire departments.
County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis issued an executive order Wednesday night, citing the "rapid rise of the delta variant" and a nearly 18-fold increase in cases since mid-June. Medical and religious exemptions will be allowed, according to Solis’ statement.
“As vaccinations continue at a pace slower than what is necessary to slow the spread, the need for immediate action is great,” she said.
The order came on a day the county announced another 3,734 COVID-19 cases — the largest single-day number since early February.
But Thursday afternoon, the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs issued a statement saying, "Solis’ announcement via Twitter was a prime example of the lack of professionalism we have come to expect from her office. The Supervisor did not reach out to stakeholders to develop a carefully considered and reasonable path forward prior to issuing her executive order."
The association said its legal team is reviewing the order and has notified Solis that it is asserting its bargaining rights over her decision.
According to the Sheriff's Department website , 2,995 department personnel have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.
SEIU 721, the union that represents about 55,000 county workers, issued a statement that indicates the union wants a testing option for its members who can not, or choose not to, be vaccinated. The statement reads, in part:
“Since day one, SEIU 721 has strongly encouraged members to get vaccinated and protect themselves. For those who are unable, our union has urged members to undergo regular testing to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
“Given the significant challenges around vaccine hesitancy and the urgent need to contain the Delta variant spike, SEIU 721 will continue to strongly advocate for a robust, regular testing option for unvaccinated members.”
The county's executive order is a stricter reaction than one issued last week by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the city’s 50,000 employees. That policy, similar to the state’s order, falls short of a vaccine mandate, offering employees the option of undergoing weekly COVID-19 testing instead of providing proof of vaccination.
Also on Wednesday, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell introduced a motion that would require people who are eligible for the vaccinations to demonstrate that they’ve received at least one dose to visit indoor places such as restaurants, bars, stores, movie theaters, stadiums and concert venues.
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