Customers and employees of bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges will soon have to provide proof of vaccination under an imminent order from L.A. County’s Department of Public Health.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, announced during Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting that she plans to issue the order “later this week.” It will also cover staff and participants at outdoor “mega events” that host more than 10,000 people by requiring that they show proof of vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours leading up the event.

“This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage,” she said. “This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”

Ferrer referred to both the drinking establishments and mega events as “select high risk settings” at which residents — particularly those who are unvaccinated — remain vulnerable to transmission. Attendees at indoor events are already required to show vaccine verification or proof of a negative test result.

For the bars, nightclubs, wineries and lounges, Ferrer clarified that it covers “drinking establishments that have either no restaurant permit or a low-risk restaurant permit. All these establishments are for adults only, and they already require patrons to show identification.” In terms of the timeline, Oct. 7 is the date that mega events must comply. Same for drinking establishments with customers and employees showing proof of at least one dose of the vaccine by Oct. 7 and both doses by Nov. 4.

Ferrer said her department will prepare tool kits that businesses can use to help confirm vaccinations as well as offering education and support. While not required, Ferrer went on to say that vaccination verification is recommended “at indoor portions of restaurants.”

News of the order came at the tail end of Ferrer’s presentation which covered the latest COVID-19 trends, case counts, hospitalizations, deaths, mandates and recommendations. She reported an additional 37 deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours.

“We, obviously, here in LA County Public Health also believe that targeted vaccination mandates are a very important strategy for quickly raising the vaccination coverage across our county, and ending the pandemic,” Ferrer said. “And we applaud the president, our governor, the board of supervisors, our cities and school districts, and business establishments for creating additional safety at spaces were people are intermingling by using targeted vaccination mandates.”

She added: “There’s no doubt, I don’t think among any of us, that vaccinations are a powerful tool in preventing infection and severe illness due to covid. Broader vaccination is clearly the key to ending surges.”

Watch the full board of supervisors meeting below.

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