Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees.
“The Delta variant has proven to be highly transmissible, making it easier to spread in large crowds where people are near each other for long periods of time,” CDPH Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said. “By requiring individuals to be vaccinated, or test negative for COVID-19 at large events, we are decreasing the risk of infection, hospitalization and death.”
The department also announced self-attestation to verify a person’s vaccination status no longer would be accepted.
The change will take place on Sept. 20, six days after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall election. It will remain in effect until Nov. 1. CDPH told CalMatters its chose the date to give businesses time to prepare for the change.
Newsom hinted on Tuesday the state could see mandatory water rationing in the weeks after the recall election since pleas for voluntary conservation measures fell on deaf ears.
The fear from larger events amid increasing transmission of the delta variant of COVID-19 is that the gatherings would become super-spreader events. Large events elsewhere have not seen those same outcomes, partly thanks to countermeasures similar to California’s.
Chicago announced Lollapalooza, an annual multiday music festival held in Grant Park, drew an estimated 385,000 people and led to 203 confirmed COVID-19 infections, most of which were breakthrough infections. The outdoor event required either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test but didn’t require masks until the third day of shows.
The state recently has required vaccinations for school staff, health care workers and state workers or face a weekly regimen of testing. Los Angeles County announced Tuesday a new mask mandate for outdoor events that expect to draw 10,000 or more people. The county is home to several professional sports teams that often draw more than that.