LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday that he will not enforce the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on his deputies.
In early August, the LA County Board of Supervisors unanimously ratified a decree requiring all county employees, regardless of department, to be fully vaccinated by October 1, with exceptions for medical and religious purposes only.
However, in a Facebook Live Thursday morning, Villanueva argued that he could not lose part of his workforce as the department was already facing alleged budgetary constraints.
“No, I do not force anyone,” he said in response to a question about whether he would enforce the mandate of his deputies. The issue has become so politicized. There are whole groups of employees who are willing to be fired and fired for having to be vaccinated. So I will not be able to lose 5% or 10% of my workforce overnight over a vaccine mandate while at the same time being barebones with the funding effort. It’s like the worst of two worlds right here. So we have to pick and choose. ”
The issue of vaccination mandates has proved divisive among law enforcement and fire service staff. Last week, a Los Angeles Times report found that vaccination rates among LA police and firefighters were well behind LA County residents.
RELATED: A List of LA City and County COVID Vaccine Mandates
All LA City employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 19th. But last month, city records showed that nearly 11% of LA’s over 57,400 city employees had stated that they intended to seek a religious or medical exemption from this requirement. It included close to 3,000 LAPD employees.
All of this is happening when the LA City Council on Wednesday approved a strict mandate that will require proof of full vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, gyms, malls, nail salons and several other places. It enters into force on 6 November or later.
A mandate in LA County went into effect at midnight Thursday, requiring proof of at least one dose of the vaccine to enter bars, clubs, breweries and attend mega-events with 10,000 or more people, such as concerts, sporting events and theme parks. Proof of full vaccination will take effect on November 4.
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