By: Eduardo Sanchez
The battle to fight the spread of COVID-19 is far from over, but SafePassLA is a step in the right direction.
The new ordinance in Los Angeles, SafePassLA, requires citizens to show proof of vaccination when entering establishments.
The most patriotic thing a person can do during a pandemic is to take care of each other by getting vaccinated.
Concert venues and other large areas where events are held have required proof of immunization or a negative test result to enter since September.
It was due time for the rest of the state to follow to ensure that people remain safe.
The ordinance was launched on November 8 and will be enforced starting on the 29.
Unlike concert venues, proof of a completed Covid-19 vaccination will be required to enter establishments.
These include gyms, restaurants, entertainment locations, personal care locations, and outdoor event venues.
According to ABC7, failure to comply by establishments will result in administrative citations, with fines for repeated violations ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
Not even a week later, the city made alterations to the ordinance, loosening the strict rules.
Malls and shopping centers were removed from the list and no longer require proof of vaccination to enter.
The original law required children of five years old to require proof, but the revision changed to 12.
“The LA City Council just removed malls & shopping centers from the list of indoor public spaces that require proof of vaccination,” Amoeba Hollywood’s Instagram said.
The famous record store had announced that proof of vaccination would be required when entering only days before the update.
Although masks are still needed, establishments have been taking precautions.
Some, like Amoeba, have an employee at the entrance to make sure patrons are wearing their masks and can access hand sanitizer before entering the store.
Sadly, not all businesses can or want to provide precautions. It is up to the patrons to wear their masks, which many refuse to, making it unsafe for many.
If businesses are refusing to create a safe space then the responsibility is up to the patrons to make sure they are taking precautions to keep those around them safe.
May 2 was the first time there were no deaths due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles, and since the vaccine has become more easily obtainable, cases have continued to decrease.
However, the battle with the virus is far from over yet.
“Increased transmission among those not vaccinated will affect vaccinated people,” Barbara Ferrer, the Los Angeles County Public Health Director, said.
“Unvaccinated people are seven times more likely to become infected with COVID than their vaccinated counterparts, and 44 times more likely to be hospitalized. The risk of death is 60 times higher among the unvaccinated,” Ferrer said. Hospitalizations in Los Angeles County have started to increase once more this past week.
SafePassLA allows those vaccinated to go about their day safely without the risk of coming in contact with someone unvaccinated who might have the virus.
With the effects being less in those vaccinated, it keeps those who are unvaccinated safe as well.
Food establishments where patrons can dine in especially put the workers at risk.
In restaurants, waiters come to the table, only meters away from patrons who are eating without their masks.
The ordinance will ensure that the workers stay safe as they won’t have to worry about the patron not being vaccinated.
With most current positive tested cases coming from unvaccinated people, those who are vaccinated can stay safe.
The ordinance allows people to be exempt if it goes against their religious beliefs or if they cannot get the vaccine due to medical reasons.
It is up to the establishments to decide to allow them entry.
Getting vaccinated not only will allow Angelenos access to locations freely but will help stop the increase of positive tested cases.
The ordinance was made to keep the citizens safe, and it is selfish to put anyone else’s health beneath a need to go out.
Drive-thrus and other options for locations allow access to anyone who feels unsafe going out. This is an alternative for those who are unvaccinated.
It is time to take the virus more seriously and do your part to keep yourself and your community safe.