The city of Los Angeles will require all of its employees to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or submit to weekly testing, city officials announced Tuesday in a push toward mandating the vaccine for employees.
“The fourth wave is here, and the choice for Angelenos couldn’t be clearer — get vaccinated or get COVID-19,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “This urgent need means that if you’re a City employee, we’re now going to require you to either show that you’re vaccinated or take a weekly test, and we’re committed to pursuing a full vaccine mandate. I urge employers across Los Angeles to follow this example.”
The move comes after the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus in Los Angeles County nearly doubled in the last two weeks. There are currently 745 people hospitalized with the virus compared to 372 people two weeks ago, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The health department said the increase in hospitalizations is being driven by “the more aggressive Delta variant, low vaccination rates in certain communities and more intermingling of unmasked individuals.”
According to the public health department, “almost everyone hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County is unvaccinated.”
The new policy will require city workers to show proof of vaccination or produce proof of a negative Covid-19 test on a weekly basis.
“In addition to the new requirement, the Mayor and City Council will aggressively pursue a vaccine mandate for all City workers once the vaccines receive full approval by the FDA,” the statement said.
The announcement comes just one day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that all state employees and health care workers will have to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or be tested at least once a week. He also encouraged local government and businesses to adopt similar measures.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia also announced in a tweet Tuesday that city employees will need to be vaccinated or show a weekly negative Covid-19 test result. Garcia said that 72% of city employees are already vaccinated.
“It’s important that public institutions model responsible leadership,” he added.
In a meeting Tuesday, L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger expressed support for getting all county employees vaccinated.
“We are preaching, I think we need to practice,” Barger said in the meeting.