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Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at bars, large events

"This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges," the health director said.
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Los Angeles County will require customers and workers at indoor bars and nightclubs to be vaccinated against Covid-19 starting next month, health officials said Wednesday.

The rules for the nation's most populous county will start Oct. 7, the county health department said about the order to be issued this week.

Customers and employees at bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges will have to have at least one vaccine dose by Oct. 7 and both doses by Nov. 4. It does not apply to indoor restaurants but is recommended.

At outdoor events of more than 10,000 people, attendees will have to verify vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, the department said.

"This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges," Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

There have been more than 1.3 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 24,300 deaths in Los Angeles County since the pandemic began, according to the health department.

The move also comes after President Joe Biden last week called on large venues like sports arenas and concerts to require vaccination or a negative test.

New York City in August became the first major city in the country to require proof of vaccination or negative testing at indoor spaces like restaurants, arenas and theaters.

California and Los Angeles area officials have already mandated vaccines in some instances.

The state has required that state workers, health care workers and public school teachers and staff be vaccinated or get regularly tested for Covid-19.

Los Angeles' City Council approved requirements last month that employees be vaccinated. Some Los Angeles police officers have sued to challenge the rule.

Last week, the Los Angeles public school district board of education adopted rules that all students 12 years or older be vaccinated.

Anger over Covid-19 restrictions in part helped fuel an effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom, which was soundly defeated by voters Tuesday.

Newsom, a Democrat, said Wednesday the state would not issue a rule like L.A. County's, but officials would follow the science and changing conditions.

"Right now, we're in a place where we're satisfied with where the state is today," Newsom told reporters.

In Los Angeles County, around 67 percent of people 12 years and up have been fully vaccinated, according to the county health department. Nationwide, the rate for that group is around 63 percent.

CORRECTION (Sept. 16, 2021, 4:39 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the number of Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles County. There have been more than 1.3 million cases, not more than 13 million.