MONTCLAIR (CBSLA) - City employees in Montclair who want to work without a mask will need to have sticker on their ID badge starting Monday.
At least one city councilman, though, said the city is asking too much.
"Since this story has aired four or five days ago, I have been getting a series of hate messages, saying, 'I hope you die of COVID...," Councilman Ben Lopez said.
Councilman Lopez said the the controversy over COVID policies has gotten ugly, and added that he's under fire for opposing the new sticker policy.
"I have no problem with our city HR department asking our employees to provide information if they are vaccinated," he said. "Beyond that, I don't think we have the authority."
Last week, the City Manager insisted the policy is in line with CAL/OSHA guidelines mandating workplaces document workers' vaccination status.
"I just want to note that I do have a sticker on my ID card, because I want to set an example for our employees," Montclair Mayor Javier John Dutry said at the meeting.
Sunday, LA County reported 2,089 new COVID-19 infections and 4 deaths, continuing the spike in new daily cases.
Lopez said he's mindful of the upward trend in cases, but feels the sticker policy goes too far.
"Just because numbers are going up doesn't mean that people's individual rights to privacy, especially with their medical information, is not null and void. We don't need a sticker. The default is the mask," he said. "If you're wearing the mask, clearly you're not vaccinated or you choose not to reveal it, or if you're not wearing the mask, you're vaccinated."
Businesses around the country are grappling with COVID policies as infections rise again and more people return to on-location work.
The City of Pasadena said it will require all employees to be vaccinated, and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, said people should expect more measures, like masking.
"More mitigation is coming," Dr. Adams said. "Whether it's masking or whether it's closures or whether it's your kids having to return to virtual learning, that is coming, and it's coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control yet again. And it's spiraling out of control because we don't have enough people vaccinated."
Most health experts blame the new and highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, saying there is an even greater risk of spreading the virus.
The Chief Medical Officer at Dignity Health St. Bernadine Medical Center in San Bernardino, Dr. Victor Waters, said at this point not getting the vaccine is reckless behavior.
"You consciously know, you know this is unsafe conduct to others and to yourself, for risk for death. Before it was different. We didn't know much about it. There were safety concerns, there wasn't access to the vaccine. There's no excuse now," Dr. Waters said.
Despite the sticker policy going into effect Monday in Montclair, there will be continuing discussion at the city council meeting on August 2.
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