Starting Wednesday in Contra Costa County, patrons of restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test.
The countywide health order is aimed at countering a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this summer due to the highly infectious delta variant and unvaccinated residents.
County health officials estimate unvaccinated residents account for 95.9% of the county's deaths so far.
"This order is necessary now to save lives, protect our overburdened healthcare system, and slow the pandemic enough to keep our schools open," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer said in a news release.
The new order applies to businesses where people remove masks to eat or drink indoors, and to gyms and other indoor fitness facilities where patrons breathe more heavily due to exercise.
The order also requires workers in indoor areas of the businesses to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 by Nov. 1 or test weekly for COVID-19.
To show proof of vaccination, patrons need to show a photo ID and their vaccination record cards from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, or copies or pictures of their cards. Documentation from healthcare providers will also be accepted, as will digital COVID-19 vaccine records issued by the State of California.
A link to a digital vaccination, which can be downloaded onto a smartphone, can be found myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov.
More information about the health order is available at cchealth.org/coronavirus.