Laguna Beach to Implement Vaccine Mandate for City Employees

By Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.
August 3, 2021 Updated: August 4, 2021

The city of Laguna Beach, California, is introducing a number of new safety measures in response to Orange County’s rising COVID-19 cases from the Delta variant, it said Aug. 2.

Later this month, it will require all city employees to be either fully vaccinated against COVID or be tested at least once a week, a statement said.

Effective Aug. 3, masks will be required inside all city facilities when in contact with another person, as well as for all employees who share work areas without barriers separating them, regardless of vaccination status.

The city said it deferred to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines when crafting its own regulations.

“To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, CDC guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated recommend wearing a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission,” Laguna Beach spokesperson Cassie Walder told The Epoch Times.

Laguna Beach City Council, commission, and board meetings have also reverted back to a hybrid format, which will take place over Zoom, the city said. Vaccinated councilmembers, commissioners, and board members will be allowed to participate in in-person meetings as long as they’re vaccinated, though they’ll be spaced apart and divided with plexiglass.

Members of the public who wish to comment during meetings will be allowed to enter the chambers briefly while wearing a mask and must exit after making their comments, regardless of vaccination status.

Safety partitions made out of plexiglass and an enhanced check-in system for visitors will remain in place at city hall’s customer service counters.

The new safety regulations don’t have an expiration date, and it is unclear how long they’ll remain in effect.

“The city of Laguna Beach will continue to protect the health and well-being of employees and the community as long as necessary to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant,” Walder said.

Laguna Beach isn’t the only Orange County city to take this measure, with Irvine announcing Aug. 1 that it will be requiring all city employees to show proof of vaccination or participate in weekly testing. Long Beach and Los Angeles have enacted similar mandates.

Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen thanked those who have been vaccinated.

“These additional measures will help protect the health and safety of the public and our employees against the spread of COVID-19,” Whalen said in a statement. “I want to thank the 70 percent of Laguna Beach city staff members who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 and strongly encourage those who have not been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible to protect their health and the health and safety of others.”

Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for four years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.