California to become the first state in the US to mandate teachers get vaccinated or be tested regularly

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California. Daniel Kim/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that all California teachers and school staff will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested regularly.

  • California will be the first state in the US to implement such a mandate.

  • The policy will take effect August 12 and schools must be in full compliance by October 15.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

California will become the first state in the US to mandate that teachers and other school employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new requirement Wednesday as students and teachers prepare to head back into the classrooms for in-person learning.

"We think this is right thing to do and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one aniexty that parents like myself have - I have four young children - and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe, to keep our kids healthy," Newsom said at a press briefing.

The new policy for California school staff takes effect Thursday and schools must be in full compliance by October 15, according to the governor's office.

School districts in other California areas like San Francisco, San Jose and Long Beach have already issued similar requirements that staffers must get the COVID-19 vaccine or be tested reguarly.

California's largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, recently announced that it was requiring that all students and employees -regardless of vaccination status - be tested for the coronavirus weekly.

Newsom said he believes the vaccine mandate "will be well received because it's right thing to do."

Coronavirus cases, fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, have been surging across the US, including in California.

Newsom announced last month that state employees and all healthcare workers must to provide proof of COVID-19 inoculation or get tested at least once a week.

Vaccine mandates have already been issued in other US cities and states.

Most recently, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ordered Monday that most state workers, as well as those in private health care and long-term care settings, be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18 as a condition of employment.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio previously announced that the entire city workforce - some 340,000 people - will be required by mid-September to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or be tested weekly.

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