California to require boosters for health care workers
The state of California will require that all health care workers receive their COVID-19 booster.
In a tweet posted Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced: “California will require healthcare workers to get their booster. With Omicron on the rise, we’re taking immediate actions to protect Californians and ensure our hospitals are prepared.”
The governor’s office said that Newsom would officially announce “new state actions to protect Californians” including the booster mandate during a visit to a COVID-19 vaccine and testing site in Alameda County on Wednesday.
News of the additional measures for the Golden State come amid increasing concern from public health and government officials over the spread of the omicron variant. The variant, first discovered in South Africa, has become the dominant strain in the United States amid a surge of COVID-19 infections.
The variant has also spread to dozens of countries throughout the globe.
California has reverted to some previous pandemic-related policies to combat a recent rise in infections like reviving the statewide indoor mask mandate until at least Jan. 15. However, officials in Los Angeles said that things were not as dire as they were at times last year.
“We’re obviously going to look very carefully at what are the strategies that are appropriate as we see more and more cases,” LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, according to The Los Angeles Times. “But what I do want to note is we’re not where we were last year; we have new tools, so we don’t need to do what we did last year.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) echoed a similar statement saying he did not “see a lockdown.”
“I think we’re so much better protected than we were,” he added, per the Times. “I do think that restrictions such as masking indoors will continue, especially as these cases go up. We’ll have to follow our hospitalizations very carefully.”
President Biden gave a speech on Tuesday, imploring the public to get vaccinated and for those who have received their vaccines already to get the booster shot.