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City Of LA Employees Will Have To Prove They’ve Been Vaccinated Or Be Tested Weekly

A health care worker wearing a blue plastic gown, face mask and shield swabs the nose of a person who has his face mask pulled down below his chin.
A medical assistant administers a coronavirus test in Los Angeles. COVID-19 cases are on the rise as the highly transmissible delta variant has become the dominant coronavirus strain in the United States.
(Mario Tama
/
Getty Images )
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The City of Los Angeles will require employees to show proof they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, or face mandatory weekly testing, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Tuesday evening.

The move will impact about 50,000 city employees, including both the police and fire departments.

Employees won’t be able to simply give their word about being vaccinated, which is known as “self-attestation.” Instead, they will be required to submit documentation of their immunization. Any city employee who isn’t vaccinated will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.

Garcetti said there is not yet a date set to implement the policy. He also said the city has not determined how to carry out the testing for its employees.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia announced a similar plan for employees in the state's seventh-largest city.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced similar guidance for their respective state and city employees this week. Newsom also included people who work in public or private healthcare settings.

More than 800 people are now hospitalized due to the virus in L.A. County, as the surge in new COVID-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible delta variant continues. Over the past week, L.A. County averaged more than 2,280 new cases and four deaths daily. That’s an increase since June, but still far below the winter peak that threatened to completely overrun hospitals.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Tuesday that 26% of new COVID cases in the county in the first half of July were among vaccinated people. She also said that currently about 9% of hospital patients with COVID were vaccinated.

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Hoping to blunt the most recent surge, L.A. County earlier this month required everyone to wear masks in indoor public spaces. On Tuesday evening, County Supervisor Janice Hahn said she believes the county should adopt the same vaccination/testing policy for its employees as the state and city of L.A.

Other California cities have taken a different approach. Pasadena and San Francisco plan to require employees to be fully vaccinated once federal regulators give any of the three COVID-19 vaccines full approval, which is expected sometime this fall.

One federal agency isn’t waiting. On Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs became the first major federal agency to require that healthcare workers get a COVID-19 vaccine. And President Biden will reportedly announce on Wednesday that all federal employees and contractors be vaccinated against the coronavirus, or have regular testing.

What questions do you have about the coronavirus and/or how it’s affecting your life in Southern California?