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LA County to Require Proof of Vaccination at Bars, Nightclubs, and More Next Month

An incoming public health order, set to take effect next month, will have massive ramifications for the hospitality and events industry

US-HEALTH-VIRUS Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is set to announce a formal public health order this week that will require either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for a multitude of public events and spaces, including bars and nightclubs. Per multiple sources, the health order — which will go into effect on October 7 — will mandate proof of vaccination or a negative test for any outdoor over 10,000 people, and for all indoor spaces at nightclubs, bars, lounges, breweries, and distilleries. The health order stops short of mandating proof of vaccination or a negative test for restaurants.

Per ABC 7, Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer “believe that targeted vaccine mandates are now a very important strategy for quickly raising vaccination coverage across our county and ending the pandemic.’’

As the delta variant continues to move throughout Los Angeles County (despite recently falling hospitalizations and case rate numbers) the health order is designed to keep the spread below the raging infection and death rates in Florida and Texas. New York City mandated a similar policy on August 16, making it the first U.S. city to do so since the pandemic began; that public health order took effect this week.

Locally, the city of West Hollywood drafted its own vaccine mandate just days ago, which is set to take effect on October 11. In Los Angeles County, the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH) oversees public health orders and mandates for every community outside of Long Beach and Pasadena, which each have its own public health departments. It is not currently clear if either or both will take up the same mandate and timeline, though historically each has usually aligned with the LA County DPH on public health matters.

The incoming public health order is set to be more formally announced this week and will take effect on October 7. So far, the public health order does not mandate proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for indoor restaurants (it simply “strongly recommends” it), though more than a few businesses have already begun to make such mandates on their own. More on this as it comes.

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