Supes approve COVID-19 recovery measures

Los Angeles County Seal.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors disagreed Tuesday on how to adapt the county’s enforcement protocols for a business’ compliance with the public health officer orders, as more businesses prepare to reopen in the coming weeks. 

A motion set to revise the enforcement protocols, removing fines that had been incorporated into first-visit violations to enhance compliance back in July, was continued to next Tuesday’s meeting.  

In lieu of fines on the first offense, the motion was set to direct Public Health to focus on educating businesses of violations and the importance of compliance with such protocols, as well as having permit suspension occur no sooner than the third visit, rather than on a second visit as previously allowed.  

“When I talk to health inspectors, they don’t want to be a part of the problem, they want to be part of the solution working with the restaurants to make sure that they come into compliance,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley and who co-authored the motion with Supervisor Janice Hahn, of the 4th District. “So it’s my hope that by removing any threat of fining on the first offense, we can further develop a collaborative spirit between Environmental Health and our communities.”

However, some county supervisors were concerned, as they’d like to continue incorporating fines for repeated violations, therefore continuing the motion to the next meeting for a clarification on its wording.  

Another motion detailing plans for the county to adhere to the state’s requirement that 40% of COVID-19 vaccine doses are allocated to underserved communities — which Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday — was unanimously approved by the board. 

The plan is also expected to augment the state’s Healthy Places Index data source for proper distribution, which the motion stated does not adequately report the county’s underserved population, with plans to utilize more accurate and equitable metrics.  

In addition, a third approved motion is set to expand vaccine access by assessing the need for extending clinic hours, while developing a strategy to increase effectiveness and efficiency at county-run sites.  

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