On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state made it essential for all teachers and other school employees to provide vaccination proof or undergo regular COVID-19 testing after the school year starts this month. The announcement of the policy makes California the first state in the country to do so as the delta variant of the virus spreads swiftly across the United States.
Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy GA-38—which prohibits gov’t entities from mandating masks—will be taken to court.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 11, 2021
The recent policy also applies to school staff such as teaching assistants, instructional aides, administrators, janitors, and bus drivers. Moreover, the new policy will reflect the recent directive of Newsom that all of the state employees and health workers should take vaccination shots or should face regular testing. According to Politico, the policy already received approval from the two most significant teachers’ unions of California – the California Federation of Teachers and the California Teachers Association.
According to the reports of CNN, the directive is scheduled to take effect in mid-October, after the beginning of the school year. Some of the state’s largest school districts already announced that it is mandatory for the teachers to receive vaccination doses against deadly COVID-19 or undergo testing on a weekly basis, including San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland.
California Experienced an Uptick in New Cases
On Monday, Newsom told reporters that the current plan is the right decision to take and it is a suitable way to keep schools open and to address the stress of the parents for their young children. According to California’s department of education, around three hundred nineteen thousand teachers are working at public schools of California during the 2018-2019 school year. On Monday, Newsom said that, if necessary, his administration would consider mandating coronavirus vaccines for students as well.
California reported a surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since the start of July, forcing Los Angeles County to reinstate a face mask mandate. Moreover, the Los Angeles Council expected to vote on Wednesday on requiring vaccination proof to enter restaurants, gyms, bars, and other indoor public spaces, just like New York’s policy announced last week.
New York state also mandates all city employees, including public school teachers, to receive vaccination against COVID-19 or face weekly testing. According to the statistics of Reuters, the COVID-19 cases of the United States surged to their peak levels in over six months as prompted by the Delta variant. New cases of the country rose to over five-fold during the last month, with the 7-day average hitting one hundred eighteen thousand on Tuesday.
In response, many states and the United States government, along with some universities, hospitals, and a mounting number of private workers, said that they made it mandatory for employees to receive vaccination shots. Last week, the White House said that approximately ninety percent of the school staff and educators of the country received their shots.
Southern Coronavirus Epicenter of the U.S.
Washington and Oregon are also experiencing an increase in new cases and hospitalizations as the pandemic spreads beyond the epicenter in the South of the United States. On Wednesday, the Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, announced the compulsion for the state executive branch employees to receive the vaccination. Brown also indoor face mask mandate statewide.
Furthermore, the recent COVID-19 wave is still the worst in the Southern states of the country, based on new virus cases and hospitalization per capita in the recent few weeks. In recent days, Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas are all reporting the highest coronavirus hospitalizations. According to a rolling statistic by NBC News, the California state generally embraced inoculation as 53.7% of people of Golden State received full vaccination.