#Roommates, as the 2021 school year begins nationwide, many states are grappling with how to keep students and faculty as safe as possible despite COVID-19 numbers surging due to the Delta variant—and now California has just taken a historic first step. In a recent announcement, California is now the very first state in the country to require teachers and school employees to get vaccinated or commit to regular COVID-19 testing.
@Newsweek reports, during a press conference earlier today, California Governor Gavin Newsom formally announced the enforcement of a mask mandate in all state schools. Both teachers and school employees are now required to either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to regular testing. This decision now makes California the first state in the country to enforce a vaccine mandate—which impacts over 319,000 teachers in the state and is likely a decision that more states are sure to follow.
Speaking about his decision for the vaccine mandate for teachers and faculty, Governor Newson had this to say:
“We need to do more and do better by becoming the first state in the country to require a vaccine mandate, or at least verification, and/or a testing requirement. We think this is the right thing to do, and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one anxiety that parents like myself have, I have young children, and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe.”
Based on the latest COVID-19 numbers, California is currently averaging 22,700 new cases for every 100,000 people tested over a seven-day span, as the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus continues to spread at an alarming rate.
Although Governor Newsom highlighted California’s current vaccination efforts, he stated that there is definitely more that needs to be done. “While we’re proud of the fact that California has among the highest vaccination rates in America, now 77.5 percent of all eligible Californians received at least one dose, it’s not good enough. That will be the charge, and that’s the approach we’re taking here in California,” he said.
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