San Diego officials recommend companies require employees to be vaccinated

San Diego officials recommend companies require employees to be vaccinated
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Local San Diego officials are encouraging companies to implement COVID-19 vaccine or weekly testing requirements for their employees amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. 

San Diego Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher (D) said in a press conference Monday that getting vaccinated is “the single most important thing you can do, not only to protect yourself, but to protect the broader community.” 

“Today, the county of San Diego is officially recommending that all employers across our county require their employees to either get vaccinated, or be subject to regular testing and mask wearing,” he announced. 

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Fletcher noted that in the past 30 days, approximately 92 percent of new COVID-19 cases in San Diego County were among unvaccinated individuals, and 98 percent of coronavirus-related hospitalizations were patients who had not yet gotten vaccinated. 

“The facts are indisputable that COVID is on the rise in particular in those communities that are unvaccinated,” he said. “As a community, we have an obligation to do everything we can to get as many people vaccinated as possible.” 

The recommendation comes as San Diego has followed California and local governments in requiring government employees get vaccinated or submit to regular COVID-19 testing, with San Diego’s policy for its roughly 18,000 workers set to go into effect next Monday. 

Fletcher noted that while San Diego County is doing well compared to others in terms of vaccination rates, with more than 80 percent of residents already having taken at least one dose, the community must “be mindful that there is a strain on our health care system.” 

San Diego had been reporting 200 to 300 new cases per day in mid-July, but is now recording about 1,000 daily infections, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune

Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said in Monday’s press conference, “It will get worse before it gets better.” 

“But the way out of that is for people to get vaccinated,” she added. 

Several cities across the country have already implemented vaccine requirements for indoor settings such as gyms and restaurants, including San Francisco and New York City. 

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to move forward legislation that would require people to provide proof of vaccination to gather in indoor public spaces, with officials still debating the mandate’s specifics before voting on final approval.