California to Require Vaccine or Testing for State Workers


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California will require millions of health care workers and state employees to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or get tested weekly, announcing a broad measure Monday to try to slow rising coronavirus infections in the nation’s most populous state, mostly among the unvaccinated.

The new rule, to take effect next month, is the latest example of California and politically progressive cities nationwide cracking down on a virus that has upended life since March 2020. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced a similar plan Monday that requires 340,000 city employees, including teachers and police officers, to show proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing.

Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, has reimposed an indoor mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, and San Francisco announced it would require its 35,000 employees to get inoculated, get an exemption or lose their job.

California’s order goes even further by dipping into the private sector. Medical professionals applauded Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new policy, saying it’s legal, ethical and necessary given a national surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

“He’s really showing leadership to strengthen the case for vaccination, which the entire country is trying to make,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases professor at the University of California, San Francisco.

The new rule would apply to an estimated 246,000 state employees, according to the governor, and at least 2 million health care workers and long-term care workers in the public and private sectors.

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Articles by: Kathleen Ronayne and Janie Har

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