All Los Angeles city employees will soon be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or take weekly tests if they decide to remain unvaccinated.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council President Nury Martinez made the announcement Tuesday evening.
“The fourth wave is here, and the choice for Angelenos couldn’t be clearer — get vaccinated or get COVID-19,” Garcetti said.
“We need unvaccinated Angelenos to stop dragging their feet,” Martinez added. “As the largest employer in the city of Los Angeles, this is us doing our part.”
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A frustrated Martinez said she is “exhausted of having to explain to people the importance of vaccinations,” but she noted “you’ll see an outrage of people the minute we have to start to shut businesses down.”
The mayor said the weekly testing of unvaccinated employees is not expected to cost taxpayers any money, since city employees have health insurance. More details on L.A.’s new policy will be discussed Wednesday at a meeting by the Los Angeles Employee Relations Committee. The new guidelines are not expected to be rolled out until Labor Day.
Additionally, Garcetti implored all local residents to get vaccinated and continue to wear masks.
“To put it bluntly, we are facing a surge of COVID-19 here in Los Angeles once again. Our cases are up, our test positivity is up, our hospitals are admitting a growing number of our friends, our neighbors and our family members,” he said.
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The Delta variant of the coronavirus has been rapidly spreading across the nation. In Los Angeles County, new data from the health department shows over 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday.
Los Angeles is the latest city to call on municipal workers to get vaccinated after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a similar measure earlier this week. The state of California will require proof of vaccination or regular testing for government workers as well.
Watch Garcetti’s full news conference below: