West Hollywood has enacted a sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandate requiring people to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor facilities in the city.
The executive order, which was issued Friday by City Manager and Director of Emergency Services David Wilson, also requires city officials and contractors to be vaccinated.
Unvaccinated people will still be able to occupy outdoor spaces in the city, but are forbidden from entering a “covered space.” The rule applies to both public buildings and private businesses.
“Covered Businesses” for the purposes of the order means:
— Establishments where food or drink is served indoors, including, but not limited to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theaters, cannabis consumption lounges, and entertainment venues;
— Health/fitness facilities, including, but not limited to; gyms, recreation facilities, yoga studios, dance studios, and other fitness establishments, where any patrons engage in cardiovascular, aerobic, strength training, or other exercise involving elevated breathing;
— Personal care establishments that include businesses that offer personal care services such as but not limited to, esthetician, skin care and cosmetology services, non-medical electrology, body art professional, tattoo parlors, microblading and permanent makeup, piercing shops, massage therapy (non-healthcare), tanning services, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops.
“Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections from the Delta variant appear to be infectious for a shorter period. This means limiting spaces to only allow vaccinated people where people are in close contact (per CAL OSHA — less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) should reduce the risk of spread and transmission to those close quarters while allowing businesses to remain open without having to limit capacity or close business operations,” according to the order.
“… Businesses such as bars, restaurants, personal care services, and health and fitness facilities, amongst other businesses specified in this Order (defined as `Covered Businesses’) have a higher risk of transmission because patrons are more likely to remove their face masks and/or are in close proximity with other patrons and the staff,” it continues.
City officials said the mandate was an alternative approach to stringent public health measures such as closing businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The order requires businesses to enforce the mandate “as soon as possible, but no later than Oct. 11.
It does not apply to those under 18 years of age. Covered businesses may allow patrons wearing a face covering to come indoors to use a restroom without requiring proof of vaccination.
The vaccination requirement does not apply to members of the public utilizing an indoor cooling center.
City contractors must show proof of full vaccination as soon as possible, but no later than Nov. 1 before entering any city facility or engaging in-person with city employees, community members or city businesses.
All city employees, temporary employees, interns, contract personnel, volunteers, and elected or appointed officials who work at a city facility are required be vaccinated no later than Nov. 1.