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All LA City Workers Must Be Vaccinated For COVID By Oct. 15. LAPD Is Currently At 52% With At Least One Shot

Los Angeles City Hall in the distance. It's an art-deco style building with a pyramidal rooftop and white facade.
Los Angeles City Hall
(Chava Sanchez for LAist)
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The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday that requires COVID-19 vaccinations for all city employees and contractors.

Two council members — Marqueece Harris-Dawson and John Lee — were absent and did not vote. The ordinance will only allow exceptions for city employees with certain health conditions that prevent them from safely getting the vaccine, or those who hold genuine religious beliefs against vaccination.

Those requests would be handled on a case-by-case basis. Workers who don't qualify for those exemptions must get their first shot by Sept. 7, and a second dose by Oct. 5.

Those who opt for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine also have until Oct. 5 to comply. Any city employees who miss those deadlines or fail to finish the vaccination process won't be eligible for promotions or transfers.

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The mandate also applies to L.A. city firefighters and police. As of July 21, a little over 52% of LAPD officers had received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

The question of both masks and vaccinations for police came up Wednesday in a conversation with LAPD Chief Michel Moore on our newsroom's public affairs show, AirTalk, which airs on 89.3 KPCC.

Although LAPD officers are required to wear face coverings in public and in the workplace, no matter their vaccination status, there have been a number of reports of officers not wearing masks. Moore acknowledged the problem.

"I know that there's members of the public that are disappointed in the organization, that believe that we're not enforcing this," he said, "and I can only assure you that we're doing our very best to do that."

Moore said as recently as Wednesday morning he saw video of officers who weren't wearing masks. He said he ordered "corrective action to be taken regarding that failure," although he didn't provide further details. Moore added there are instances where it's not practical for an officer to wear a mask.

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The LAPD has reported thousands of positive COVID cases in sworn officers and staff. Ten members of the department have died and Moore said four officers are currently hospitalized, with one in grave condition.

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