Vaccination Policy for LA County Workforce –

It is the obligation of the County to provide and support a safe and secure workplace. Public health leaders uniformly cite vaccination as the most effective way to prevent transmission and limit COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Unvaccinated County employees are at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 within the workplace, at County facilities, and to the public that depends on County services.

To best protect its workforce members and others in County facilities, and fulfill its obligations to the public, the County is mandating that all County employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 infection. Under the Board of Supervisors’ vaccination directive, all County employees must show proof of vaccination by October 1, 2021.

Information about how County employees can comply with this Policy, tools for uploading vaccination status, and clarification on requests for exemption for medical or religious reasons is provided in the sections below.

For information about the safety and efficiency of COVID-19 vaccinations and to find out how you can schedule a vaccine appointment, visit www.vaccinatelacounty.com

Site Quick Links


Using the Fulgent System

All County workforce members must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, unless they have been granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons.

The County is expanding its contract with Fulgent, a leader in laboratory testing services and an existing vendor with the County, to maintain employee vaccination records and conduct required regular COVID-19 testing for applicable employees, contractors, and volunteers.

To upload your vaccination certification documentation to the Fulgent Database, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to fulgentgenetics.com to complete your vaccination verification (Chrome, Safari or Edge browsers required). You will need:
    • Your employee or contractor number
    • A California Department of Public Health (CDPH) digital vaccine card QR code, or
    • A digital photo of your hard copy vaccination card

 

  1. Department of Health Services employees:
    • If you were vaccinated by DHS, your vaccination verification is complete. If you received your vaccination outside of DHS, you must submit a copy of your vaccination record to your local Employee Health Services.

 

  1. I am not vaccinated:
    • It is imperative that you get fully vaccinated and show proof of full vaccination prior to October 1, 2021.

 

  1. I cannot be vaccinated due to a medical or religious reason:
    • If you cannot receive the vaccination due to a medical or a religious reason, you will be able to request a legal exemption. Additional details on how to submit your request will be provided.

For a step-by-step tutorial, please watch the video below:

Please see LAC Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Verification User Guide for additional information on registering.

Testing

  1. LAC Testing What To Expect Flyer
  2. Fulgent Testing Sites 

Please visit https://lac.fulgentgenetics.com/residence_appointment/info/locations for more current information on testing sites, hours, and schedule.


COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Exemption / Reasonable Accommodation

In compliance with state and federal laws, we have implemented a process for employees who cannot be vaccinated to request an exemption from the vaccination policy, known as a reasonable accommodation. This page is to provide additional information, resources, and guidance on the County’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Exemption / Reasonable Accommodation process.

Employees may request an exemption from the Policy’s vaccination requirement due to the following reasons:

  • A medical condition that does not allow an individual to get vaccinated against COVID-19; or
  • A sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that conflicts with an individual’s ability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The process for requesting a medical or religious exemption to the County’s Vaccination policy is provided at Accommodations website.

Vaccine Safety Education

Employee Vaccine Policy Town Hall

FAQs

Fulgent System/Technical Questions

Any technical issues about using the Fulgent system, including difficulty getting on the site, modifying personal information, or uploading documents should be directed to the Fulgent technical support team. They are available 24/7 at:

Email: lacsupport@fulgentgenetics.com

Phone line support is available 6 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

Phone: 1 (626) 350-0537

The application is NOT supported by Internet Explorer.  Please use Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or any other browser, to register and upload your vaccine information.

Please visit the employee COVID-19 Vaccination Policy informational site (https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/vaccinationsmandate) to find more information about using the Fulgent system, a helpful user-guide and a step-by-step video tutorial on how to register and upload your proof of vaccination.

The County is committed to safeguarding the integrity of all County systems and protecting the privacy rights of the County workforce. The Agreement with Fulgent was reviewed and approved by the County’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) before it was implemented. The Agreement includes the County’s standard Information Security and Privacy Requirements Exhibit, which requires Fulgent to commit to abide by all applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations, as well as applicable industry standards concerning privacy, data protections, information security, confidentiality and integrity of such Information. Fulgent must treat all County Information as Confidential and must encrypt County Information in accordance with CISO instruction in order to render County Information unusable, unreadable or indecipherable to unauthorized individuals.

Fulgent is required by State law (Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations Sections 2500-2505) and the LA County Department of Public Health to collect demographic information to help public health experts identify any potential disparity in COVID-19 testing and vaccine access among different populations. This also helps organizations track and trend the impact of COVID-19 on different communities, which may inform outreach efforts and resource allocation.

If an employee is uncomfortable providing this information, they can simply respond with the “prefer not to state” option. The County will not see the demographic information on a personal level and no penalties will occur for declining to provide demographic information on any question.

All demographic information provided during registration is shared with the California and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for disease control and public safety purposes (see response to “Why am I being asked to share demographic information?”).

Home addresses are required because if an employee receives a positive test, that must be reported to the state and local health departments for the purposes of contact tracing and virus and variant monitoring. Employee home addresses are not provided to the County, nor are they shown on any dashboard the County has access to.

The confidentiality of workforce member information throughout the vaccination verification process is the main priority of the County. In order to safely, securely and efficiently confirm vaccination status and track the results of routine COVID-19 tests, as required by State health officer orders and County policy, the County opted to engage a leader in the healthcare field for this endeavor.

Founded in 2011, Fulgent is a California based company that “strives to create the most effective and wide ranging tests on the market.”  Its lab is “CLIA-certified and CAP accredited and surpasses the standards of diagnostic testing.”  It was the first clinical laboratory to offer copy number variation detection using NGS technology in the United States. Today, Fulgent continues to offer an unrivaled catalog of genetic testing.

Fulgent is viewed as a leading provider of COVID-19 testing solutions at the national level. The company contracts with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”)  on COVID-19 sequencing and works with other large public agencies, such as the Houston-area public school system and Health Department to conduct routine COVID-19 testing and tracking.

Falsification is a serious offense and an employee may be disciplined, up to and including discharge.

The records of employees who submit their vaccination record by uploading a QR code from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are instantaneously verified; the QR codes are cryptographically signed by an approved card issuer in a similar manner to a DocuSign virtual signature and the Fulgent Upload System is able to extract this code and query CDPH directly for instant validation.

Employees who submit their physical card will have their card reviewed manually for authenticity using all available criteria.  The physical cards cannot be verified to the same extent as a smart QR code. Because of this gap, in the future, QR codes may be required for full verification confidence.

Questions Regarding Complying with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

ALL County workers, which includes all employees (i.e. full-time, part-time, recurrent, temporary, and as-needed County employees), as well as all interns and volunteers supporting County services and/or working from County facilities must provide the County with proof of vaccination status.

As a reminder, the process for the DHS workforce: If an employee was vaccinated by DHS, their vaccination verification is complete. If the employee received their vaccination outside of DHS, they must submit a copy of their vaccination record to their local Employee Health Services. DHS employees do not need to submit their vaccination records into the Fulgent database.

Employees  who are not currently vaccinated or only partially vaccinated, will have the opportunity to indicate that in the Fulgent system. Even those that are not vaccinated must update their information in the system to ensure the County is in full compliance with State and Local Health Officer Orders, the Executive Order of the Board of Supervisors and the County’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

According to the CDC, to be considered ‘Fully Vaccinated’, two weeks must have passed since an individual has received the final shot in their elected vaccine series (i.e. second dose in a two-dose series or one-dose in a single dose vaccine).

You can, and should, register with your partial vaccination card. The system provides an option for employees to indicate if they are only partially vaccinated during the registration process. Partially vaccinated employees can return to provide additional information when they obtain their final shot.

The County follows the Vaccine Record Guidelines & Standards issued by the California Department of Public Health. Acceptable proof of a completed vaccine series includes:

  • An official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. The card must include the name of the vaccinated individual, type of vaccine provided, and date of the last dose administered
  • A copy (including a photographic copy) of an official Vaccination Record Card
  • Documentation of vaccination from a licensed medical provider
  • A digital record that includes a QR code that when scanned by a SMART Health Card reader displays to the reader client name, date of birth, vaccine dates, and vaccine type
  • Documentation of vaccination from contracted employers who follow the State’s vaccination records guidelines and standards.

Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Records are considered acceptable proof of vaccination status and can be obtained online at https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov. The site requires individuals to provide their name, date of birth and the cell phone or email associated with their vaccine record in order to submit a request. Once the request has been processed in the system, you will receive a link delivered to the email or mobile phone number associated with the vaccination record containing their COVID-19 vaccination information (including name, date of birth, vaccination date(s), and vaccine manufacturer) and scannable QR code confirming the vaccine record is authentic.

More information can be found at myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/faqFor questions and other assistance obtaining your digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record, please contact the California Department of Public Health at 833.422.4255.

Documentation of vaccination status from a licensed medical provider is also considered acceptable proof of vaccination. The written confirmation must include the individual’s name, type of vaccination provided and date of the last administered dose.

YES. The COVID-19 Vaccination Policy calls for all County workers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination status, effective October 1, 2021, regardless of any teleworking arrangements. This allows the County to ensure that we have a fully operational workforce that is available to swiftly respond, should the need arise.

YES. All County workers are required to get vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of whether they previously tested positive for COVID-19. Evidence provided by the CDC shows that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19. In fact, one study showed that unvaccinated people who already had COVID-19 are more than two times as likely to get COVID-19 again than fully vaccinated people.

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and/or are currently undergoing treatment for COVID-19 should connect with their healthcare provider to determine whether they should temporarily delay receiving COVID-19 vaccine, per CDC guidance.

The County of Los Angeles is committed to keeping its workforce updated and educated as more information about the COVID-19 vaccine’s benefits and efficacy becomes available. You can visit https://publichealth.lacounty.gov/Coronavirus/vaccine for the most up to date information about vaccine safety, availability and related resources.

All County employees are also encouraged to watch the two (2)-employee COVID-19 Town Hall webinars focused on the COVID-19 vaccine safety, efficacy, and mandate, and review the COVID-19 vaccine safety information shared by County leadership and Public Health.  Information about vaccine safety and efficacy, as well as links to the Employee Town Halls and other vaccine educational resources, can be found at https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/vaccinationsmandate/.

At this time, employees are not required to receive boosters.  However, additional shots may be required at a later date if determined by FDA that they are needed to maintain ‘full vaccination’ status. Should this occur, advanced notice would be provided to departments, employees and HR personnel.

Employees are to first register themselves online at https://lac.fulgentgenetics.com. If you do not have easy access to the internet or would like to register in-person, registration can be done on-site at the time of testing. Registering online ahead of time is preferred though, as it will help to speed up the testing process.

Registration only has to be done one time and once complete, you will receive a QR  code which can be used to verify your information for all future tests. On test day, bring the following to your test site:

  1. A form of identification (your LA County employee badge or other government issued ID)
  2. Your Fulgent QR code and/or your E/C County ID number
  3. Your insurance card (you will only need this on the first day of testing; the information will be saved for all future tests through LA County)

Consistent with current practice, employees will be provided with reasonable paid time to be tested for COVID-19. Paid time off to receive COVID-19 testing may include the time an employee spent traveling to and from a location to receive the COVID-19 test. Under no circumstances within the control of or reasonably foreseeable by the employee shall an employee accrue overtime or compensatory time spent for COVID-19 testing purposes. Eligible employees who are designated as mileage permittees or occasional drivers/permittees (as designated by their department) are eligible for mileage reimbursement, if appropriate.

Testing will be provided at no cost to the employee. Employees are to work with their supervisors to schedule routine testing in advance at a location and time beneficial to the individual and department operations.

The County has contracted with Fulgent for the regular testing of all County employees who have been granted exemptions or are otherwise required to undergo testing due to department protocols. Regular testing is to be conducted through Fulgent through the sites and process dictated by the department. Employees who undergo testing through an external provider, such as their health insurance or local pharmacy, will not be considered compliant with regular testing requirements and may not be eligible for testing-specific paid leave or reimbursement.

Please visit https://lac.fulgentgenetics.com/residence_appointment/info/locations for list of current testing sites.

There is DNA in the sample, however Fulgent’s testing process only identifies COVID-19 viral markers and generic ‘human’ markers (not individual DNA information) in order to confirm that the sample is of sufficient quality for COVID-19 testing. In the event of a positive result for COVID-19, the sample will be completely anonymized / deidentified and the viral genome only will be analyzed by next generation sequencing (NGS) for the purpose of reporting the specific virus variant to the CDC. No personal DNA information will be reviewed or shared, and all testing samples will be destroyed.

COVID-19 testing samples are held for about 2 days, enough time for a test to be re-run once if needed in the event of a failed assay (QNS). After that, they are destroyed through incineration. In the event of a positive result, samples may be held for up to 14-days for subsequent NGS analysis of the viral genome and then destroyed as outlined above.

COVID-19 testing is on County time.  Employees may take up to two (2) hours for testing and must follow their department’s time-off request process.

If an employee works for two departments, there will be two separate interactive process meetings.  One accommodation may suffice, but it depends on the employee’s job duties at each department.   At that time the testing schedule will be determined, and the Department(s) can work with Fulgent to track it appropriately.

As outlined in the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, County employees shall be allowed reasonable paid time off to receive or recover from a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot required by the County. Employees must follow their department’s time-off request process for the time off.

The County’s testing sites utilize a shallow nasal swab test. Tests are self-administered and results will be made available within 1-2 days of submitting your sample. When your results are ready, you will receive either an email or text message with a screening ID (in the format FSS-SCR123456) along with the link to view your test result.

You can view a demonstration of the nasal swab testing process at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_1UgXM9tqw

The risks associated with shallow nasal swab testing are very minor – there is a chance of minor discomfort or possibly nosebleed during the supervised sample collection.  Nosebleeds during this collection process are very rare and often associated with dry weather condition or outdoor testing.  There is also a risk of false positive due to contamination, but this is extremely rare – less than 1 in 4 million.

Your test results are considered confidential and are only shared with your departmental Human Resources office/COVID-19 safety teams, and any relevant State or local reporting agencies (as required by law). Your supervisor will not see your vaccination status or specific test results. However, in order to ensure you are in compliance with the County’s testing/ vaccination policies, they will see if you are “cleared,” or “not cleared” for work.

Questions Regarding Vaccine Exemption

 In alignment with Federal and State law, any County employee can request an accommodation from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement policy.

Employee may request an accommodation due to the following reasons:

  1. A qualifying medical condition that does not permit them to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or
  2. A sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that conflicts with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

You must submit the Request for Medical Accommodation Form to your Departmental HR Manager (DHRM) or their designee as soon as possible to remain in compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  Within ten (10) business days from submitting your request form, you must also submit Healthcare Provider Certification form completed by your physician that states you cannot receive the vaccination due to permanent or temporary restrictions.  The statement will NOT address the underlying medical condition or disability that prevents you from being vaccinated.

If your request is approved, your designated department personnel will send to you the Approval of Accommodation Form.  This form will document and communicate final determination on your request for disability and/or medically related accommodation to the vaccination requirement, and outline safety protocols to remain compliant.

You may find the Exemption/Accommodation Request forms online at https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/vaccine-mandate-exemption.

You must submit the Request for Religious Accommodation Form to your Departmental HR Manager (DHRM) or their designee as soon as possible to remain in compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.  If a request for additional information is appropriate, you will have ten (10) business days to submit a completed Religious Organization Certification Form from your religious leader, religious scholar, or person knowledgeable regarding your religious belief(s), practice(s) or observance(s) to support your request.

If your request is approved, your designated department personnel will send to you the Approval of Accommodation Form.  This form will document and communicate final determination on your request for religious related accommodation to the vaccination requirement, and outline safety protocols to remain compliant.

You may find the Exemption/Accommodation Request form online at https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/vaccine-mandate-exemption.

All Requests for Accommodation are to be submitted to your DHRM or designated human resources staff.  The requests will be reviewed by subject matter experts (SMEs) from your departmental human resources in collaboration with the Department of Human Resources and County Counsel.

Review of these requests will follow the County’s current Reasonable Accommodation/Interactive Progress. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Requests for Accommodation are considered confidential documents and will be filed separately from the employee’s personnel file.

You are permitted to submit a request for exemption/accommodation at any time, however failure to do so in a timely manner may result in being marked as noncompliant.

You are encouraged to submit your exemption/accommodation request forms no later than October 15, 2021, so you can remain in compliance with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requirements.  If you need additional time to submit your Healthcare Provider Certification form or Request for Religious Accommodation form, you should submit a written request for extension to your Departmental Human Resources Manager (DHRM).  If you do not submit your exemption/accommodation request(s) in a timely manner, you will receive a Notice of Noncompliance, which will result in disciplinary action if you do not come into compliance (e.g. provide proof of vaccination or submit a request for exemption) within 45 days.

You may submit a Request for Reconsideration Form along with a copy of your original Request for Accommodation.  This should include a copy of the Department’s Denial of Accommodation Notice and all supporting documents to the DHR’s Disability Management Unit within ten (10) business days following the documented denial.

  • All forms are to be submitted to reconsideration@hr.lacounty.gov
  • DHR will notify you and the department of the reconsideration decision.  DHR’s determination is considered final.

You will have 14 calendar days from the denial date to submit proof of receipt of the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  The proof of vaccination must include the date the vaccine was received.

You will have a total of eight (8) weeks from the denial date to submit proof you are fully vaccinated.  During this period, you will be required to continue to adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols, such as testing, masking, symptom-screening and physical distancing while in the County workplace or worksite.

 Personal or philosophical objections to a COVID-19 vaccine are not sufficient justification for granting an accommodation under this Policy.

No; the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires that all County workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of full vaccination status, unless otherwise exempted due to medical or religious reasons. To obtain an exemption from the vaccination requirements, you must submit a Request for Exemption/ Accommodation form, as described at https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/vaccine-mandate-exemption.

COVID-19 vaccine exemptions may be granted for medical reasons.  This includes contraindications to the vaccines, per the most up to date COVID-19 vaccine guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including, but not limited to:

  • a documented history of severe allergic reaction to one or more components of all of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S.
  • a documented history of severe or immediate-type hypersensitivity allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine, along with a reason why you cannot be vaccinated with one of the other available vaccine formulations.

See the CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines for details.

Note: As the employer, we cannot engage in discussions regarding your medical condition(s) or medical history.  Only the information provided on Healthcare Provider Certification Form may be taken into consideration when handling a request for a medical accommodation.

No. All County workers, regardless of whether they previously had COVID-19 or not, are required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status. A qualifying medical exemption may be granted for contraindications to the vaccine, such as a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, or for any other medically necessary restriction determined by a licensed healthcare provider.

Individuals being treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, should be temporarily exempted from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for 90 days, per CDC guidance.

Submission of a complete Request for Accommodation alone does not automatically excuse you from requirements of this Policy.  However, you will not be subject to any corrective action for non-compliance while the department is reviewing your accommodation request and/or engaging in the interactive process. You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your request and actions needed to ensure compliance with the Policy.

While waiting for a response to a Request for Accommodation, you will be subject to workplace safety requirements, such as masking, physical distancing, and regular COVID-19 testing in order to comply with the policy in the interim.

Unvaccinated employees who receive an accommodation under this Policy may be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing as an accommodation. Testing frequency will be based on your classification/role and will be informed by Public Health best practices and/or federal, state and local orders. You may also be required to continue to adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols, such as masking, symptom screening and physical distancing while in the County workplace or worksite.

If the request for accommodation is approved but you do not adhere to protocols, your department will reengage in the IPM to explore whether there is need for other accommodations. The disciplinary action policy can be deployed if you continue not to comply.

Additional Questions

The goal is to have all employees be in full compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination and routine testing requirements outlined in the Policy.  Employees are encouraged to work with their department if there are any uncertainties or questions on process. Any employee who does not comply with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy may be subject to corrective action, up to and including discharge.

The Department of Human Resources (DHR) and our County partners have established the following resources to assist all of us to continue working safely and productively.

  • Employee Town Halls.  DHR, the Department of Public Health (DPH), Chief Executive Office, and County Counsel partnered on two (2) Employee Town Halls to provide you with information about the COVID-19 vaccine and the mandatory vaccination directive and policy.

 

The Vaccine 101 Town Hall, held on August 31, 2021, focused on the COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy.  The second town hall was held on September 20, 2021 and focused on the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, the Board’s Executive Order, and compliance requirements. Both town halls were  recorded and made available on the County’s Learning Net and at https://employee.hr.lacounty.gov/vaccinationsmandate.  Employees can watch the Town Hall recordings and participate in future education sessions on County time.

  • Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record. The California State Department of Public Health provides easy access to your vaccination record. Visit the CDPH portal to get started.
  • DPH COVID-19 Vaccine and Vaccination Records website. LA County COVID-19 Vaccine – LA County Department of Public Health provides reliable information on the pandemic, state and local health orders, and vaccinations.
  • LA County Employee Hotline and COVID-19 email. Both the LA County Employee hotline and COVID-19 email box are available to answer your employee questions.  You can connect with us by calling (833) 990-2352, Monday-Friday from 7:00am-5:00pm or send your questions to  COVID19@hr.lacounty.gov.