California to require proof of COVID vaccination for state, health care workers

California to require proof of COVID vaccination for state, health care workers

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As the COVID-19 delta variant continues to drive a spike in cases, California on Monday announced that all state and health care workers will need to verify they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo regular testing.Leer en españolIf state and health workers continue to choose to remain unvaccinated, they will be subject to testing at least once a week, California health officials said in a call with reporters. Vaccines are not being mandated, but the state said it’s encouraging local government and other employers to adopt a similar vaccine verification protocol.The verification system applies to both public and private health care facilities. The new policy for state workers will take effect Aug. 2 and testing will be phased in over “the next few weeks,” Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a news release. The new policy for health care workers and congregate facilities will take effect Aug. 9, and health care facilities will have until Aug. 23 to come into full compliance.| VIDEO BELOW | Gov. Newsom says choices by people not to get vaccinated are ‘impacting the rest of us’There are at least 238,000 state employees, according to the California controller’s office, and at least 2 million health care workers in the public and private sectors.Richard Louis Brown represents tens of thousands of those state workers as president of SEIU Local 1000. He said he found the governor’s announcement appalling.”This is wrong,” Brown said. “You’re singling these people out for not doing what many people think is the right thing to do, but in this great country you have the freedom to decide about your health.”He said about half of the union is happy about vaccine and mask rules in the workplace while the other half is not.”They believe this is a violation of their healthcare, their privacy,” Brown said.The news about the verification system comes as the delta variant is now the dominant strain in the country. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg tweeted that he was in favor of a similar vaccination or testing policy for California’s capital city. Elsewhere, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all municipal workers, including teachers and police officers, will be required to get vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing. California’s COVID-19 positivity rate has been trending upward in recent weeks, and the majority of the people testing positive for the virus are unvaccinated.”We’re at a point where an individual’s choice not to get vaccinated is impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way,” Newsom said at a news conference Monday in Alameda County. | VIDEO BELOW | Gov. Newsom says choices by people not to get vaccinated are ‘impacting the rest of us’He compared those who made the choice not to get vaccinated to others who put the public’s safety at risk by drinking and driving. And he said he was “exhausted” by COVID-19 politicization and vaccine disinformation spread by some politicians and what he called “the right-wing echo chamber.” Several California counties have recommended that its vaccinated residents mask up indoors again because of the fast spread of the delta variant. Those who are unvaccinated are still supposed to be wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and officials are urging those who are unvaccinated, and face the greatest risks from COVID-19, to get the shot. “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,” Newsom said in a prepared statement.More than 21 million Californians are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the California Department of Public Health. Roughly 40 million people live in California, and the state has struggled to make significant progress in recent weeks on the vaccination front.In California, the rising cases come against the political backdrop of an upcoming recall election against Newsom. He allowed the state to reopen on June 15 and has been hesitant to impose new statewide requirements on mask-wearing or physical distancing.Voters will start receiving ballots in the mail in about three weeks, with election day scheduled for Sept. 14.— The Associated Press contributed reporting.This is a developing story. Stay with KCRA 3 for the latest.

As the COVID-19 delta variant continues to drive a spike in cases, California on Monday announced that all state and health care workers will need to verify they’ve been vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo regular testing.

If state and health workers continue to choose to remain unvaccinated, they will be subject to testing at least once a week, California health officials said in a call with reporters. Vaccines are not being mandated, but the state said it’s encouraging local government and other employers to adopt a similar vaccine verification protocol.

The verification system applies to both public and private health care facilities. The new policy for state workers will take effect Aug. 2 and testing will be phased in over “the next few weeks,” Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a news release. The new policy for health care workers and congregate facilities will take effect Aug. 9, and health care facilities will have until Aug. 23 to come into full compliance.

| VIDEO BELOW | Gov. Newsom says choices by people not to get vaccinated are ‘impacting the rest of us’

There are at least 238,000 state employees, according to the California controller’s office, and at least 2 million health care workers in the public and private sectors.

Richard Louis Brown represents tens of thousands of those state workers as president of SEIU Local 1000. He said he found the governor’s announcement appalling.

“This is wrong,” Brown said. “You’re singling these people out for not doing what many people think is the right thing to do, but in this great country you have the freedom to decide about your health.”

He said about half of the union is happy about vaccine and mask rules in the workplace while the other half is not.

“They believe this is a violation of their healthcare, their privacy,” Brown said.

The news about the verification system comes as the delta variant is now the dominant strain in the country.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg tweeted that he was in favor of a similar vaccination or testing policy for California’s capital city.

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Elsewhere, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all municipal workers, including teachers and police officers, will be required to get vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly COVID-19 testing.

California’s COVID-19 positivity rate has been trending upward in recent weeks, and the majority of the people testing positive for the virus are unvaccinated.

“We’re at a point where an individual’s choice not to get vaccinated is impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way,” Newsom said at a news conference Monday in Alameda County.

| VIDEO BELOW | Gov. Newsom says choices by people not to get vaccinated are ‘impacting the rest of us’

He compared those who made the choice not to get vaccinated to others who put the public’s safety at risk by drinking and driving.

And he said he was “exhausted” by COVID-19 politicization and vaccine disinformation spread by some politicians and what he called “the right-wing echo chamber.”

Several California counties have recommended that its vaccinated residents mask up indoors again because of the fast spread of the delta variant.

Those who are unvaccinated are still supposed to be wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and officials are urging those who are unvaccinated, and face the greatest risks from COVID-19, to get the shot.

“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,” Newsom said in a prepared statement.

More than 21 million Californians are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the California Department of Public Health. Roughly 40 million people live in California, and the state has struggled to make significant progress in recent weeks on the vaccination front.

In California, the rising cases come against the political backdrop of an upcoming recall election against Newsom. He allowed the state to reopen on June 15 and has been hesitant to impose new statewide requirements on mask-wearing or physical distancing.

Voters will start receiving ballots in the mail in about three weeks, with election day scheduled for Sept. 14.

— The Associated Press contributed reporting.

This is a developing story. Stay with KCRA 3 for the latest.

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