Newsom’s announcement follows a sharp rise new cases.
From August 2, all California state employees and healthcare workers will be required to show proof of full vaccinating or undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Governor Gavin Newsom made the announcement on Monday, in an effort to curb the surge in cases over the last few months which has mostly been driven by the more transmissable Delta variant.
This will require some 246,000 state employees to comply with the new guidance by August 23. Any state employees that are not vaccinated or cannot show proof of vaccination will need to be tested a minimum of once a week or twice a week for those working in high-risk settings. The indoor mask mandate will still apply to all employees.
“We are now asking for that verification, no longer requiring, or rather encouraging self-attestation. This is a requirement to prove you’ve been vaccinated and if you have not, you will be tested,” said Newsom on Monday.
The latest coronavirus case rate among unvaccinated residents is thought to be above 14 per 100,000 people, according to the California Health and Human Services Agency. A rate that is around seven times higher than of those who hhave been fully vaccinated, reports the Times.
“Too many people have chosen to live with this virus,” Newsom told reporters Monday. “We’re at a point in this epidemic, this pandemic, where choice — individuals’ choice not to get vaccinated — is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way.”