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California to require state employees, health care workers be vaccinated
California on Monday announced that it would be requiring all state and health care workers to either provide proof of vaccination or be tested once a week for COVID-19.
“We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a press release.
“As the state’s largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same,” he added. “Vaccines are safe — they protect our family, those who truly can’t get vaccinated, our children and our economy. Vaccines are the way we end this pandemic.”
Workers at high-risk settings such as hospitals, jails, care homes and homeless shelters will also be subject to these new rules.
This new policy will go into effect beginning on Aug. 2.
This moves echoes that of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), who announced on Monday that all city workers would be required to either get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing by Sept. 13 when schools return for the academic year.
“Despite California leading the nation in vaccinations, with more than 44 million doses administered and 75 percent of the eligible population having received at least one dose, the state is seeing increasing numbers of people who refused to get the vaccine being admitted to the ICU and dying,” the press release stated, pointing to a sharp increase in new cases that has been observed recently, nearly quadrupling since May.
“California has administered more vaccines than any other state, with 75 percent of those eligible having gotten at least one dose, and we were weeks ahead of meeting President Biden’s 70 percent goal. But we must do more to fight disinformation and encourage vaccine-hesitant communities and individuals,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said.
According to state data, 62.1 percent of California’s overall population is fully vaccinated.