California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for state employees and health care workers, or they will need to undergo routine testing.
In a release, Newsom’s office said that the state also “encourages all local governments and businesses to adopt similar measures.”
In health care settings, workers who do not get the vaccine will need to get tested at least weekly for COVID-19 and must wear the correct personal protective equipment (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 release said.
“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 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.”
The release stated that “more than 44 million doses administered and 75 percent of the eligible population” in the state have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. It pointed out that those who are being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in hospitals and dying from the virus are those who did not get vaccinated. It also said that the jump in these situations is much due to the Delta variant of the virus.
“California has administered more vaccines than any other state, with 75 percent of those eligible having gotten at least one dose, and we were weeks ahead of meeting President Biden’s 70 percent goal. But we must do more to fight disinformation and encourage vaccine-hesitant communities and individuals,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “The Delta variant is up to 60 percent more infectious than the Alpha strain but many times more infectious than the original COVID-19 strain. If you have been waiting to get vaccinated, now is the time.”
As The Daily Wire reported on Monday, Newsom made a comparison between people who are not vaccinated and “drunk drivers” during an interview on CNN.
“Is it time governor to bring back a universal mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status there in California?” CNN anchor Victor Blackwell asked.
“Look, we don’t even have to have that debate. If we can just get everybody vaccinated that’s not vaccinated, that’s refusing to get vaccinated, that’s living vaccine free and impacting the rest of us,” Newsom responded. “It’s like drunk drivers. You don’t have the right to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else at risk, including your own life at risk.”
The vaccines for COVID-19 have been given emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to state data, 62.1% of eligible people in California are fully vaccinated. The case numbers in California have increased from a lower point in May, but are still much lower than the peak of coronavirus cases in the state earlier this year.