July 27, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that his state will be the first in the nation to impose a vaccine mandate on state employees and healthcare workers, requiring they show proof of vaccination or submit to regular tests.
In a statement, Newsom announced:
Today, the State of California is taking decisive action to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable communities – implementing a first-in-the-nation standard to require all state workers and workers in health care and high-risk congregate settings to either show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once per week, and encourage all local government and other employers to adopt a similar protocol.
“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,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “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. 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.”
California will also be requiring health care settings to verify that workers are fully vaccinated or tested regularly. Unvaccinated workers will be subject to at least weekly COVID-19 testing and will be required to wear appropriate PPE. This requirement also applies to high-risk congregate settings like adult and senior residential facilities, homeless shelters and jails. These steps will help protect vulnerable patients and residents.
The new policy for state workers will take effect August 2 and testing will be phased in over the next few weeks. The new policy for health care workers and congregate facilities will take effect on August 9, and health care facilities will have until August 23 to come into full compliance.
Newsom also told CNN that unvaccinated people are like drunk drivers, because they put themselves and others at risk.
Republican Larry Elder, who is one of several candidates opposing Newsom in a Sep. 14 recall election, vowed to repeal his vaccine mandate, if elected:
When I win, I will repeal the Newsom vaccine mandate, if a judge doesn't beat me to it. https://t.co/mnvU6s5Wid#RecallGavinNewsom #WeveGotAStateToSave https://t.co/yb3voI2Qlg
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 27, 2021
Vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers is similar to that among the population in general, despite the fact that they are among the most well-informed Americans, and that many see ailing coronavirus patients firsthand.
On ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanolpoulos, Democratic insider Rahm Emanuel demanded Sunday that healthcare workers be vaccinated, accusing them of setting “an unbelievable wrong example that gives people a permission slip.”