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California plans to require state employees offer proof of COVID vaccination or get tested weekly.
Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed California will have the "strongest vaccine verification system in the US."
"Too many people have chosen to live with this virus," Newsom said as he announced the new mandate.
California will soon require state employees and all healthcare workers to provide proof of COVID-19 inoculation or get tested at least once a week, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Monday as he vowed that the Golden State would have the "strongest vaccine verification system in the US."
"Too many people have chosen to live with this virus," Newsom said during a press briefing where he announced the new vaccination requirement, which is set to take effect next month.
The Democratic governor added, "We're at a point in this epidemic, this pandemic, where individuals' choice not to get vaccinated is now impacting the rest of us in a profound and devastating and deadly way."
There are 246,000 state employees in California who are expected to be affected by the order. Additionally, there are at least 2 million healthcare workers in the public and private sectors in the state who fall under the mandate, the Associated Press reported.
The vaccine or test requirement also applies to those working in "high-risk congregate settings" such as adult and senior residential facilities, homeless shelters, and jails, the governor said.
The new policy for state workers is expected to take effect on August 2, and testing is expected to be phased in over the next few weeks, while the policy for healthcare workers and those in congregate facilities is set to take effect on August 9.
Healthcare facilities have until August 23 to be in full compliance.
California has recently seen an increase in coronavirus cases as the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread. The state's coronavirus positivity rate has risen to 5.3%, Newsom said on Monday.
"As the state's largest employer - we're leading by example. Vaccines are the solution," Newsom tweeted. "We encourage local governments and other businesses to follow suit."
Newsom's office said, "Despite California leading the nation in vaccinations, with more than 44 million doses administered and 75% of the eligible population having received at least one dose, the state is seeing increasing numbers of people who refused to get the vaccine being admitted to the ICU and dying."
California's mandate was the latest vaccine requirement announced as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that the entire city workforce - some 340,000 people - will be mandated by mid-September to get vaccinated against the coronavirus or be tested weekly, and the Department of Veterans Affairs also announced that all healthcare workers will need to get vaccinated.
Read the original article on Business Insider