New policy would begin with requiring workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested on a weekly basis.
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Nury Martinez announced today that they would push for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for City employees, beginning with a requirement that workers either submit proof of vaccination or a weekly negative test.
That requirement is part of a broader push to mandate vaccines for all employees once the federal Food and Drug Administration gives full approval. It comes as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to drive an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths among the unvaccinated in Los Angeles County and across the country.
“The fourth wave is here, and the choice for Angelenos couldn’t be clearer — get vaccinated or get COVID-19,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “So please, visit your doctor’s office, or a local drug store, or one of our many free sites and get the vaccine right now, because it could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one. 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.”
"Angelenos have stayed inside for over a year to protect themselves and others. I think it’s safe to say that we’re getting tired of putting our lives on hold to protect people who don’t want to protect themselves and get vaccinated,” said Council President Martinez. “In order for us, as leaders, to ask Angelenos to get vaccinated, we must set an example as the largest employer in the City of Los Angeles. This is us doing our part."
“In the last month or so, the rate of COVID-19 cases has increased over 20-fold. Unless we take this action quickly, we will wind up with our hospitals flooded with COVID patients and we’ll be setting new records for COVID infections per day,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, Chair of the City Council’s Personnel Committee. “Becoming fully vaccinated is the best protection that people can take to reduce the risk of infection, illness, and death, especially given the latest surge of infections due to the Delta variant. The City of Los Angeles has a responsibility to maintain the health of municipal workers and members of the public who interact with them. Thank you to the Mayor and Council President for working to ensure that City employees protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated."
The new policy will require all department heads to verify and keep track of their employees’ vaccination status, and submit reports to the Personnel Department detailing that information. Each employee will be required to show proof of full vaccination to their department’s HR representative. In the absence of that proof, employees must produce proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis. Discussions are ongoing with the City’s labor partners about the specific testing implementation plan.
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.
Angelenos can get vaccinated free of charge at any of more than 800 vaccination sites across L.A. County, including drive-thru, walk-up, and pop-up sites at community events. Many sites are open until 8 p.m. to make it convenient for everyone to get the vaccine. Find a site near you by visiting Coronavirus.LACity.org/GetVaccinated.