California Governor Gavin Newsom compared unvaccinated people to drunk drivers as he announced that all state and health care workers would have to submit to regular COVID-19 testing if they haven’t gotten the shot.
‘You don’t have a choice to go out and drink and drive and put everybody else’s lives at risk. That’s the equivalent of this moment with the deadliness & efficiency of the Delta variant,’ Newsom told a news conference on Monday.
Under the governor’s new mandate, state employees will have to submit a proof of vaccination by August 2 and health care workers would have to submit proof of vaccinations by August 23.
Any state employee that does not provide a proof of vaccination will have to get tested once a week, and any health care worker who does not get vaccinated would have to submit to testing twice a week. They would also be required to wear masks at all times.
The new mandate will affect at least 238,000 state employees.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, pictured at a news conference on May 10, announced on Monday that all state and health care employees in the state would have to either get a COVID vaccination or submit to regular testing starting next month
More than 43,500,000 Californians have already been vaccinated against the virus, according to California health data, but still the Delta variant is continuing to spread throughout the state.
It now accounts for more than 80 percent of the infections in California.
On Monday, there were 21,940 new COVID cases reported in the state, with 65 deaths, the health department reports.
Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 3,331 people hospitalized as of Monday – 200 more than the day before, although the number of people hospitalized with the virus remains lower than those hospitalized during the peak of the pandemic over the winter.
The number of infections across the country are rising as the Delta variant continues to spread
The U.S. recorded 15,711 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday with a seven-day rolling average of 52,116, which is a 291% increase from the 13,305 average recorded three weeks ago
Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 56 recorded on Sunday and a seven-day rolling average of 281, 17% up from the average of 239 recorded three weeks prior
California’s new regulation would impact at least 238,000 state employees as the Delta variant continues to spread through the state. Here, a man received a Pfizer vaccine at a mobile vaccine clinic in Los Angeles earlier this month
But the problem is not unique to California.
On Sunday, the country recorded 15,711 new cases with a seven-day rolling average of 52,116, which is a 291 percent increase from the 13,305 average recorded three weeks ago.
Additionally, 56 COVID-19 deaths were recorded on Sunday with a seven-day rolling average of 281.
Fatalities, which are a lagging indicator, have not dramatically risen but instead have slightly increased by 17 percent from the average of 239 recorded three weeks prior.
Health officials say this is because people now are protected by vaccines, though in states that have less vaccine uptake hospitals are starting to fill up as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that all New York City employees will be required to get a COVID test starting on September 13 if they are not vaccinated against the virus
To combat this, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that he, too, would be requiring all 314,000 city employees – including those that work for the Department of Education and the New York Police Department – to either get vaccinated by September 13 or submit to weekly COVID testing.
Those who remain unvaccinated will be required to wear masks at all times, he said, adding: ‘There unfortunately will have to be consequences.’
‘We unfortunately have to be very tough if a city government employee does not wear masks indoors if they’re unvaccinated,’ de Blasio said, with health officials later announcing that those who do not wear masks may be put on leave.
New York State is also allocating $15million to community vaccination organizations, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
‘These orgs have the expertise to move the needle in areas with high positivity and low vax rates,’ the governor tweeted, adding: ‘We’ve made incredible progress against COVID – but there’s more work to do.’
President Joe Biden said that ‘all docs’ working at Veterans Affairs Department facilities would be required to get vaccinated
Also on Monday, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) become the first federal agency to require its frontline health care workers to be vaccinated.
President Joe Biden confirmed the move in a brief statement to reporters Monday afternoon.
‘Yes. Veteran Affairs is going to in fact require that all docs working in facilities are going to have to be vaccinated,’ Biden said, following a report quoting his Veterans Affairs secretary regarding health care workers at the VA.
Following the action, 115,000 staffers will have two months to get inoculated against the coronavirus, and face being fired if they do not oblige.