If you have ventured out in public places around Los Angeles County over the last few weeks, chances are you’ve had to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine since verification became a county requirement earlier this month.
To help ensure the new rules are being followed, health inspectors have been stopping by businesses countywide. Overall, the majority of businesses have been in compliance, officials say.
Between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, county health inspectors visited 1,008 restaurants, 78 bars, 226 food markets, 26 breweries, wineries or distilleries, 10 nightclubs, 21 lounges, 21 hotels, 35 gyms and fitness centers, 10 hair salons or barber shops, 52 manufacturing plants, 33 garment manufacturing plants, 22 personal care businesses, 11 office sites and 5 large outdoor and indoor venues.
Out of those, inspectors noted 73% of garment manufacturers, 73% of office sites, 82% of bars, 80% of nightclubs and 86% of lounges were in compliance with employee masking, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported. And, 85% percent of bars were in compliance with customer vaccination verifications.
“Overall, the inspections revealed that while the majority of businesses were in compliance, there is room for improvement with employee masking at garment manufacturers, office sites, bars, nightclubs and lounges, and customer vaccination verifications at bars,” county officials said in a news release.
Julian Nasserian, a patron who has been visiting different spots around L.A., says although he has not been asked to show vaccine proof each time he goes out, he has been required to show proof on a fairly regular basis.
“I’ve been to a couple of events and definitely bars and restaurants and I have been asked for my vaccination cards. Most places I have been to have asked for it,” Nasserian told KTLA.
County health officials said business compliance is key to helping reduce the transmission of coronavirus transmission, and it appears to be having a positive impact in the number of reported cases.
On. Oct. 6, the day before the vaccine requirements went into effect in L.A. County, health officials reported 1,479 new coronavirus cases and 31 deaths. In comparison to Oct. 25, when those numbers were down to 379 new cases and 5 deaths.
“Reducing transmission depends on high compliance with existing safety measures,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Monday. “I am grateful that the vast majority of businesses continue to follow the sensible protections in the State and County Health Officer Orders that help ensure our collective well-being and economic recovery.”
For those businesses who do not comply, the county could issue a notice of violation or citation.
Violations of safety requirements and dangerous conditions can be reported anonymously to Public Health by phone at 888-700-9995 or online at publichealth.lacounty.gov.