Los Angeles County health inspectors continue to find overall good compliance with COVID-19 health requirements at local businesses, but there is still room for improvement at many locations when it comes to enforcing mask-wearing requirements, officials said Monday.
According to the county Department of Public Health, inspectors visited roughly 1,500 businesses between Oct. 16-22. Of the businesses inspected, 73% of garment manufacturers, 73% of office sites, 82% of bars, 80% of nightclubs and 86% of lounges were in compliance with the indoor mask- wearing requirement.
Inspectors also found 85% of bars were complying with customer-vaccination verifications. Only two citations were issued during that week for failure to comply with health orders. County officials have noted that citations are considered a last line of defense, with inspectors opting primarily to work with businesses to help bring them into compliance.
“I am grateful that the vast majority of businesses continue to follow the sensible protections in the state and county Health Officer Orders that help ensure our collective well-being and economic recovery,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Thanks as well to the tens of thousands of patrons who are doing their part — getting vaccinated and wearing masks as required. Reducing transmission depends on high compliance with existing safety measures.”
The county reported another five COVID-19 deaths on Monday, bringing the overall pandemic death toll to 26,552. Another 679 cases were reported, for a cumulative total of 1,485,769.
Case and death numbers tend to be lower on Mondays due to delays in reporting from the weekend. According to state figures, there were 629 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Monday, up from 610 on Sunday. Of those patients, 170 were in intensive care, down from 179 a day earlier. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.8% as of Monday.
Los Angeles County providers last week began offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to people who previously received any of the three vaccinations in circulation.
Under federal guidelines, people can receive a different brand of booster shot than their original doses.
Booster shots are available for people who are:
— 65 years of age or older;
— aged 18 and older and living in long-term care settings;
— aged 18 and older with underlying medical conditions; and
— aged 18 and older and living or working in high-risk settings.
People who received the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna shots should not receive a booster until at least six months after their last dose. For the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, people must wait at least two months after their shot.
Most vaccination sites do not require appointments, and shots are usually available on a walk-in basis. However, appointments can be made at www.VaccinateLACounty.com, or in Spanish, www.VacunateLosAngeles.com.
According to numbers released Thursday, 79% of eligible county residents aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 71% are fully vaccinated.