Amid rising COVID-19 cases throughout the region, Irvine officials said all city employees must either show proof of vaccination or participate in weekly COVID-19 tests beginning next month.

The policy comes after the state, as well as the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, announced the same requirement for employees. Irvine also announced Friday that everyone inside city facilities must wear masks regardless of their vaccination status.

“I am grateful to our city staff for their ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19, and I want to thank the 75% of employees who have already been vaccinated,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “The additional measures we are implementing, based on recent data, will further protect the health and well-being of our employees and everyone in our community.”

Since California lifted most COVID-19 restrictions on June 15, Irvine has gone from an average of four new cases per day to about 30, officials said.

Los Angeles city officials began hashing out details of its new requirement on Thursday, and Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion calling for a stricter rule that would mandate vaccinations for city employees.

On Tuesday, following in the footsteps of the University of California, the California State University system announced that it will also require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to take part in any in-person classes or activities for the fall term.

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