County orders bars to verify vaccines

Geoff Pocock takes a sample of "The Rooster Who Knew Too Much" Pocock anniversary beer at the Pocock Brewery in Valencia. Dan Watson/The Signal

Bars, wineries, breweries, night clubs and lounges will need to require vaccine verification from their customers and employees in the indoor portions of those businesses by Nov. 4, per a modified health officer order to be issued later this week, Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Public Health Department, announced Wednesday during the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting. 

Full vaccination will be required by Nov. 4, while proof of at least one dose of the vaccine will be required by Oct. 7. 

“This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage,” Ferrer told supervisors. “This is a reasonable path forward that will position us to be able to break the cycle of surges.” 

Supervisor Kathryn Barger asked Ferrer to address the urgency of the new measures in the modified health officer order. 

Ferrer said the county’s experience with the virus has shown that COVID-19 is cyclical. 

“When your case numbers are declining, sometimes it can be counterintuitive to understand why we would want to continue to expand safety measures,” she said. “There’s a cyclical nature to this virus and as long as we have large numbers of unvaccinated people here in the county, we’re at the mercy of the cyclical nature.” 

The county plans to prepare a toolkit to support businesses with confirming vaccination, as well as provide support and education to businesses that request it. 

“While not required, vaccine verification at indoor portions of restaurants (is) also recommended,” Ferrer said. 

The modified order will also require vaccination verification or a negative test within 72 hours prior to attending outdoor mega events.  

Attendees at indoor mega events are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result prior to entry, according to the county. 

The Board of Supervisors also unanimously approved a motion to ensure the county supports President Joe Biden’s “Path Out of the Pandemic” plan for recovery. 

The motion directs county staff to assess whether county policies are aligned with Biden’s plan, as well as require the county to provide employers with more than 100 employees with information on existing vaccination sites and how to request a mobile vaccination clinic. 

Supervisor Holly Mitchell said education and outreach to the public will play an important part in the effort to align the county’s efforts with those of Biden. 

“For this to be effective, outreach is going to be critical. That’s sometimes the hardest part of rolling out new programs,” she said, noting that the county partners with businesses of all sizes. 

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

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 1,930 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,437,073 

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 37 

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 25,748 

Hospitalizations countywide: 1,214, 30% of whom are in the ICU. 

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Sept. 10: 30, with 1,468 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.    

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 50, 29 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita  

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV as of Sept. 14: 34,837 

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Sept. 12: 324 

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Sept. 9: 76.2%    

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Sept. 9: 72.5% 

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