County holds off on requiring proof of vaccination for indoor spaces

Los Angeles County Seal.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to hold off on requiring people to show proof that they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine to access “certain indoor public spaces.”

The move comes after the Board of Supervisors reviewed the report developed by the county Department of Public Health and other county officials, evaluating the potential vaccine requirement.

In the report, Public Health recommended some indoor businesses and settings that provide a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission, such as bars, restaurants, theaters and family entertainment centers, among others, require proof of full vaccination in their indoor portions.

“At Public Health, we do think it’s worth a limited mandate to require full vaccinations at a subset of places where we think there’s a particularly high risk for transmission,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during Tuesday’s meeting when discussing the report. “Again, it’s not a mandate to get vaccinated, but if you’re going to go to some of these higher-risk settings … these are places where we felt it made sense to actually ask people if they want to use the services or engage in these activities that they do get themselves fully vaccinated.”

However, the Board of Supervisors considered the obstacles and barriers highlighted in the report in regards to enforcing the mandate, the potential economic impact to smaller businesses, as well as case rates appearing to be on a decline, said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who introduced the motion.

“I’m not quite ready to take that step,” Hahn said.

“I’m certainly not in a hurry, knowing that we’ve already instituted a lot of good safeguards,” Supervisor Hilda L. Solis added.

It’s these concerns that Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, brought up during initial discussions of the motion, noting she’d received mixed messages about the potential of a proof of vaccination requirement from restaurants in her district.

“One of the common questions is enforcement and concerns about how to do the enforcement,” Barger previously stated.

The board instead agreed to continue to look at the data to understand whether a vaccine requirement will be needed in the future.

On Tuesday, Public Health reported less than 2,000 new COVID-19 diagnoses countywide for the first time in more than a month since July 26, with 1,938 cases reported.

While case rates do appear to have declined, Ferrer went on to say that a vaccine requirement would immediately reduce risk and help slow down transmission, adding, “From our perspective, one of the things we’re desperately needing to do is to stop the cycle of surges. We can’t just keep doing this cycle, where our cases go up, up and up, and we have lots and lots of people in hospitals.”

Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Tuesday:

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 1,938

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,407,317

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 33

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 25,284

Hospitalizations countywide: 1,709, 26% of which are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Aug. 30: 43, with 1,429 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 58, 45 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 33,709

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Aug. 30: 314

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Aug. 19: 74.26%

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Aug. 19: 70.77%

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