California will require all state employees and health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or face regular, frequent testing, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday.
“This is a requirement, to prove you’ve been vaccinated — and if you have not, you will be tested,” Mr. Newsom said, adding that the tests would be required at least weekly.
NEW: CA will have the strongest state vaccine verification system in the US and will require state employees & healthcare workers to provide proof of vaccination—or get tested regularly.
We’re experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Everyone that can get vaccinated—should.
The California move came a few hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City announced a similar vaccine mandate for all municipal workers, to take effect by the time schools reopen in mid-September. Last week, Mr. de Blasio announced a vaccine requirement for public health care workers — part of an effort to speed up vaccinations as the city faces a third wave of coronavirus cases driven by the spread of the Delta variant.
State and local officials, businesses and residents across the country are grappling with whether vaccines should be mandated. The city of San Francisco, several Bay Area counties, the University of California and various hospital systems around the country have recently announced similar mandates.
The new requirement in California will apply to roughly 246,000 state employees beginning on Aug. 9 and be implemented by Aug. 23, Mr. Newsom said.
More than 64 percent of California residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to federal data, but the speed of inoculations has slowed. The number of virus cases in California has risen to more than 6,300 on average per day, more than double the daily average two weeks ago.
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