News

State employees, health care workers must show proof of vaccination

New mandate doesn't extend to private employers, but encourages similar policies

Nurse Trysta Almeida brings a tablet into the room of a COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit for a video visit at El Camino Health's Mountain View campus on Jan. 14, 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Amid climbing numbers of hospitalizations and a test positivity rate of 80% for the COVID-19 delta variant, all state employees and health care workers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, the California Health and Human Services and Government Operations agencies and Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in separate news conferences on Monday morning.

Under the new order, all state employees will be required to show proof of vaccination by Aug. 2. Unvaccinated employees will be required to follow a testing protocol and must wear masks indoors, the state agencies said. Verification of vaccination status would be through a vaccination card or a vaccination code through the state Department of Public Health.

Unvaccinated hospital workers in both public and private facilities and employees working in congregate care settings would be required to be tested twice weekly and wear N95 masks. Unvaccinated workers in outpatient settings must be tested once per week and wear surgical masks by Aug. 9.

Officials stopped short of issuing a mandate for proof of vaccination verification from employees at private businesses, but the state is encouraging employers to put a similar plan in place. Vaccination is key to keeping the economy going and schools open, the agencies said.

"We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it's going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous delta variant," said Gov. Gavin Newsom. "As the state's largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same. Vaccines are safe — they protect our family, those who truly can't get vaccinated, our children and our economy. Vaccines are the way we end this pandemic."

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Newsom clarified that teachers are not required under the state mandate to show proof of vaccine verification, but he hoped that school districts also would adopt a proof-of-vaccine policy. The state wants to get children back into school for in-person learning, he said.

The call for greater scrutiny of proof of vaccination comes as the state saw its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases over the weekend after weeks of rising case numbers. The state reported 7,500 cases per day over the weekend, an increase from 6,400 reported per day last week. Since May 15, the state positivity rate has jumped to 9.6 cases per 100,000 people from 1.9 cases per 100,000.

The numbers also show a striking disparity between case rates for unvaccinated patients and vaccinated patients. The seven-day average for unvaccinated patients who tested positive for COVID-19 was 14 cases per 100,000 compared to just 2 cases per 100,000 for those who were vaccinated, the agencies said.

Hospitalizations also have increased from 900 patients on May 15 to 3,000. Hospital admissions have risen to 600 patients per day compared to 150 patients per day in the first half of May.

Newsom said that the profiteering of misinformation by right-wing pundits has put people at risk, and he called them out for fomenting distrust in science. He likened the choice of not getting a vaccine against the deadly virus to having the choice to drive drunk and put other people at risk.

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Newsom noted that the longer we wait to extinguish COVID-19, the more likely we will face another variant that might make the vaccines less effective. He said the state is focusing on vaccinations and is at this time not returning to a mask mandate.

California has a vaccination rate of more than 75%. While vaccination levels slowed down for multiple weeks, there have been some signs that people are starting to take the delta virus more seriously. The state saw a 16% increase in vaccination rates last week, the agencies said.

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State employees, health care workers must show proof of vaccination

New mandate doesn't extend to private employers, but encourages similar policies

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Jul 26, 2021, 11:56 am

Amid climbing numbers of hospitalizations and a test positivity rate of 80% for the COVID-19 delta variant, all state employees and health care workers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, the California Health and Human Services and Government Operations agencies and Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in separate news conferences on Monday morning.

Under the new order, all state employees will be required to show proof of vaccination by Aug. 2. Unvaccinated employees will be required to follow a testing protocol and must wear masks indoors, the state agencies said. Verification of vaccination status would be through a vaccination card or a vaccination code through the state Department of Public Health.

Unvaccinated hospital workers in both public and private facilities and employees working in congregate care settings would be required to be tested twice weekly and wear N95 masks. Unvaccinated workers in outpatient settings must be tested once per week and wear surgical masks by Aug. 9.

Officials stopped short of issuing a mandate for proof of vaccination verification from employees at private businesses, but the state is encouraging employers to put a similar plan in place. Vaccination is key to keeping the economy going and schools open, the agencies said.

"We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it's going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous delta variant," said Gov. Gavin Newsom. "As the state's largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same. Vaccines are safe — they protect our family, those who truly can't get vaccinated, our children and our economy. Vaccines are the way we end this pandemic."

Newsom clarified that teachers are not required under the state mandate to show proof of vaccine verification, but he hoped that school districts also would adopt a proof-of-vaccine policy. The state wants to get children back into school for in-person learning, he said.

The call for greater scrutiny of proof of vaccination comes as the state saw its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases over the weekend after weeks of rising case numbers. The state reported 7,500 cases per day over the weekend, an increase from 6,400 reported per day last week. Since May 15, the state positivity rate has jumped to 9.6 cases per 100,000 people from 1.9 cases per 100,000.

The numbers also show a striking disparity between case rates for unvaccinated patients and vaccinated patients. The seven-day average for unvaccinated patients who tested positive for COVID-19 was 14 cases per 100,000 compared to just 2 cases per 100,000 for those who were vaccinated, the agencies said.

Hospitalizations also have increased from 900 patients on May 15 to 3,000. Hospital admissions have risen to 600 patients per day compared to 150 patients per day in the first half of May.

Newsom said that the profiteering of misinformation by right-wing pundits has put people at risk, and he called them out for fomenting distrust in science. He likened the choice of not getting a vaccine against the deadly virus to having the choice to drive drunk and put other people at risk.

Newsom noted that the longer we wait to extinguish COVID-19, the more likely we will face another variant that might make the vaccines less effective. He said the state is focusing on vaccinations and is at this time not returning to a mask mandate.

California has a vaccination rate of more than 75%. While vaccination levels slowed down for multiple weeks, there have been some signs that people are starting to take the delta virus more seriously. The state saw a 16% increase in vaccination rates last week, the agencies said.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2021 at 12:40 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2021 at 12:40 pm

How's the electronic app for proof of vaccination (aka passport) doing? My gut feeling is we will all need to use it to travel and various other things. Those flimsy cards are not going to do well being taken out and put back in wallets all the time. And, they can be counterfeited or copied too easily.


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Jul 26, 2021 at 12:44 pm
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2021 at 12:44 pm

Finally a good step in the right direction.


Chris
Registered user
University South
on Jul 26, 2021 at 2:28 pm
Chris, University South
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2021 at 2:28 pm

Time for Palo Alto to apply this to its police.
Does City Council have the guts to do it?


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm

At last. Good change of policy.
Yes - the police should be required too. A no-brainer since many times the public has no choice but to interact with them.
I’m not sure it’s the city council that can do much. This is the job for the City Manager. And remember, there is a police chief who has said nothing - no leadership there.
Very possibly the 2 police unions are serious obstacles here as they so often are.


chris
Registered user
University South
on Jul 26, 2021 at 10:11 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Jul 26, 2021 at 10:11 pm

New covid cases in the county have jumped back up to the early February level.

Covid is surging while City Council is vacationing. They should be requiring vaccinations for everybody going inside a building - public or private, employee, customer, or visitor).

The anti-vaxxers have been mollycoddled for far too long. It is time to show them that public health "trumps" their misguided beliefs.


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:23 am
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:23 am

This is a great start, but it has a fatal flaw --- the testing cop-out unless the tests are daily before each shift, which they won't be under this protocol. I'd say get them all vaccinated. If they refuse to behave responsibly, then they must work remotely from home with no contact with co-workers and especially not patients --- but only if they can do their jobs properly and fully from home. It's time to force the vaccination issue to get almost everyone vaccinated. Enough is enough.


Anonymous
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:29 am
Anonymous, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:29 am

It is high time for the City of Palo Alto to also mandate all its employees to get vaccinated, including the police force.


No heat
Registered user
Fairmeadow
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:45 am
No heat, Fairmeadow
Registered user
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:45 am

If we can mandate that cops wear a bulletproof vest, we can mandate that they get vaccinated. Send an email to city council and let them know you want it. Web Link


jhskrh
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:53 am
jhskrh, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:53 am

ALL Police departments should be vaccinated. This is an issue across the country; predominately young men with conservative politics politicizing vaccines; that demographic in the general population also has pretty high vaccine hesitancy. Therefore not surprising to see many cops taking the Tucker Carlson stance on vaccines. Their job is to protect us, not infect us with a deadline virus.


Anneke
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:54 am
Anneke, Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 27, 2021 at 10:54 am

Taking the vaccine is not a political statement, it is an IQ test!


blah
Registered user
another community
on Jul 28, 2021 at 2:09 am
blah, another community
Registered user
on Jul 28, 2021 at 2:09 am

@Anneke, I agree, and if protecting our community was not as important as it is, I'd actually advocate to allow those who choose not to get vaccinated to go on vacation to places in MAGA country so we can let Darwinism happen at an accelerated pace.


Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 28, 2021 at 9:29 am
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 28, 2021 at 9:29 am

The CDC implements "strategies" that are often influenced politically or via lobbying.

In April, my husband and I -- fully vaccinated -- flew across the country. We purchased non-stop tickets. The airline kept cutting back and rearranged our flight plan. They eventually gave us a stop and then turned that stop into a three-hour layover in St. Louis.

When we got on the flight (out of San Jose), it was filled with California parents and children flying to Disney World. There wasn't an empty seat on the entire plane. Half of the kids would take their masks off and on throughout the duration of the flight.

If the CDC makes such a mandate, then why doesn't the FAA actually enforce it? The airports had social distancing and mask requirements. However, it's difficult to be "socially distant" when you're sitting next to strangers in front, behind and even rubbing shoulders with you.


StarSpring
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 29, 2021 at 11:49 am
StarSpring, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jul 29, 2021 at 11:49 am

@Bystander

You can get a QR code of your vaccination status from the state here:
Web Link

and then you can turn it into a convenient displayable record on your device using the CommonPass app from here: Web Link


Lenora Peters
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 30, 2021 at 9:28 am
Lenora Peters, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 30, 2021 at 9:28 am

Some people are getting tattoos verifying their Covid-19 vaccinations.


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 31, 2021 at 8:02 am
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 31, 2021 at 8:02 am
Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2021 at 8:38 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 31, 2021 at 8:38 am

How's the contact tracing app doing? I haven't heard much since we were all told to get it on our phones. I haven't been pinged yet.


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