Los Angeles County officials urged continued vigilance Wednesday following the lifting of most COVID-19 health restrictions, with about one-third of the county’s eligible population still not vaccinated against the virus.
“As physical distancing requirements, capacity limits, and masking mandates are now relaxed, ensuring the safety of those who are not yet vaccinated is essential,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Workplaces need to offer sensible precautions that reduce possible COVID-19 transmission.
“This can include providing unvaccinated employees with respirators and maintaining partitions to protect workers who otherwise would be in sustained close contact with others,” she said. “Until we reach community immunity, public health safety measures including masking and distancing are the tools that can protect those not yet vaccinated.”
Rules regarding masking, physical distancing and providing partitions in workplaces will be reviewed Thursday by a state occupational-safety board. The rules, if approved, would largely align with state guidelines for the general public regarding mask-wearing, allowing people who are vaccinated to shed their masks in most situations.
Some businesses could opt to continue requiring them for customers, so residents are being urged to adhere to rules that may differ from store to store.
According to figures released Tuesday, 5.4 million county residents, representing 66% of the eligible population, had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. About 4.66 million, or 56% of eligible residents, were fully vaccinated.
Ferrer noted, however, that there are 1.4 million county residents under age 12, who are not yet eligible for the shots.
The county’s rate of COVID-19 deaths and infections continued at their low pace. On Wednesday, the county reported just five new deaths and 226 new infections.
To date, the county has recorded 24,421 deaths and 1,246,821 infections during the pandemic.
According to state figures, there were 223 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19 as of Wednesday, up from 216 on Monday. There were 49 people in intensive care, the same as the previous day.
Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia Wednesday morning, announcing another incentive for people to get vaccinated — 50,000 free admission tickets to Six Flags theme parks in California. The tickets are available from select vaccination providers across the state. A full list is available at Covid19.ca.gov/Vax-For-The-Win.
The state on July 1 will hold another vaccine-incentive drawing, giving away six California vacation packages, including trips to Anaheim, San Diego, Los Angeles, Rancho Mirage and San Francisco.
Through Thursday, anyone who gets a first vaccine dose at sites run by Los Angeles County, the city of Los Angeles or St. John’s Well Child and Family Center will be entered for a chance to win season tickets for the Clippers, Chargers or Rams. The contest is also open to anyone who comes in for a second-dose appointment and brings along another person who needs a first dose.