COVID testing no longer required for unvaccinated LA city employees

The City Council Tuesday voted 13-0 to eliminate the COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated Los Angeles city employees.

Currently, city employees who are not vaccinated against the virus must receive an exemption and undergo weekly testing.

Under the resolution, the testing requirement ends, but the vaccination mandate remains unchanged. City staff, however, told the council's Personnel, Audits and Hiring Committee last week that the city was in the process of granting exemptions for unvaccinated employees to return to work.

The resolution also reimburses city employees for time and money spent adhering to the testing requirements.

"Effective immediately, no City employee shall be charged for the costs of any required testing, or required to test on their own time," the resolution reads.

The resolution also notes that the testing requirement could be reinstated in the future as COVID-19 evolves.

The city has spent $275,000 per month in surveillance testing costs, for a total of $6.5 million incurred, according to officials.