California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all government employees and healthcare workers will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or be tested at least weekly as infections due to the delta variant climb.
California “will have the strongest state vaccine verification system in the U.S.,” Newsom said on Monday. “We’re experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Everyone that can get vaccinated —should.”
The policy doesn’t quite equal a mandate in that workers will be able to keep their jobs without having to get the vaccine as long as they submit to testing. Government employees may be required to comply as soon as next week, while healthcare workers in private and public hospital systems will have until late August to get the shots if they so choose.
“As the state’s largest employer — we’re leading by example. Vaccines are the solution,” Newsom said. “We encourage local governments and other businesses to follow suit.”
While Newsom has insisted that the state will not institute a vaccine certification program commonly known as a vaccine passport, he said last month that the state was working on a digital documentation platform that would allow people to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status, providing businesses an easy way to check which of their customers have gotten the shots.
New COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant have spiked 247% in California over the past 14 days, according to tracking by the Los Angeles Times. Southern California currently has the largest share of positive cases in the state, prompting the Los Angeles county government to reinstate an indoor mask mandate last week.
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Original Author: Cassidy Morrison