IRVINE, Calif.—Effective immediately, Irvine is requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated or participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. It’s also mandating all individuals—regardless of vaccination status—to wear masks in government buildings.
City employees since Aug. 1 have been required to show proof of vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 test to enter municipal buildings.
The cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles recently announced the same requirement for employees. It’s unclear whether other Orange County cities will implement similar guidelines.
“I am grateful to our city staff for their ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19, and I want to thank the 75 percent of employees who have already been vaccinated,” Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan said in a statement.
“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.”
The announcement comes days after the state issued newer mask guidance for fully vaccinated people indoors.
The state’s new guidance is stricter than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance and requires all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in most public spaces, such as public transit, indoors in K–12 schools and child care centers, emergency shelters, health care settings, and other state and local buildings.
It also permits businesses and venue operators to mandate masks and implement their own vaccine verification process for patrons.
Orange County recently reported a sharp increase in CCP virus cases, as the average daily case rate per 100,000 residents jumped from 6.5 to 8.6 between July 21 and July 27.
City officials said Irvine experienced an increase in cases since lifting most COVID-19 restrictions from four new cases per day to about 30.
Santa Ana spokesperson Paul Eakins told The Epoch Times that “a decision hasn’t been made at this time” as to whether the city will implement similar guidelines.
Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster told The Epoch Times, “The state of California approached us about it, and we are evaluating options. But we have not made any determination at this time.”