Los Angeles uses emergency alert system to push COVID-19 vaccines

Los Angeles uses emergency alert system to push COVID-19 vaccines
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The city of Los Angeles on Wednesday used its emergency alert system to urge local residents to get vaccinated as officials express growing concern over a new surge in cases due in part to the highly transmissible delta variant. 

Multiple LA-based journalists and residents shared screenshots on Twitter of the Public Safety Alert they received on their phone, reading “COVID cases are rapidly rising.” 

“Protect yourself, loved ones, and your community by getting vaccinated now,” the alert from the LA city government continued. “Vaccines are free, safe, and highly effective.” 

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“If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, get tested,” it added, before sharing a link for residents to locate a vaccination or testing site. 

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The provided URL brings people to a page citing data on the recent case surge recorded in the county, noting that unvaccinated individuals accounted for almost all new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths recorded in the area from Dec. 7 to June 7. 

Earlier this month, LA became the first major city to reimpose a mask mandate for all individuals regardless of their vaccination status amid a rapid increase in infections. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recorded a surge in the positivity rate from just more than 1 percent on July 1 to 5 percent on July 19. 

On Tuesday, the county recorded 2,067 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infection count to nearly 1.3 million, according to health department data. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric GarcettiEric GarcettiRep. Karen Bass to run for mayor of Los Angeles: report LA councilman launches run for mayor with focus on those who are 'barely holding on' LA City Council votes to crack down on protests outside homes MORE and City Council President Nury Martinez on Tuesday announced that they would be requiring proof of vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing for all city employees. 

“The fourth wave is here, and the choice for Angelenos couldn’t be clearer — get vaccinated or get COVID-19,” Garcetti said in a statement. 

“So please, visit your doctor’s office, or a local drug store, or one of our many free sites and get the vaccine right now, because it could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Martinez said, “I think it’s safe to say that we’re getting tired of putting our lives on hold to protect people who don’t want to protect themselves and get vaccinated.” 

“In order for us, as leaders, to ask Angelenos to get vaccinated, we must set an example as the largest employer in the City of Los Angeles,” Martinez added. “This is us doing our part."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 73 percent of Los Angeles County adults ages 18 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with roughly 64 percent fully vaccinated.