Newsom vows California will have the ‘strongest vaccine verification system in the US’ as mandate is announced

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Associated Press
  • California will require state employees and all healthcare workers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or get tested weekly.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed that California will have the “strongest vaccine verification system in the US.”
  • “Too many people have chosen to live with this virus,” Newsom said Monday as he announced the new mandate.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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 Monday as he vowed that the the Golden State will 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 will 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 will be impacted 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, according to the Associated Press.

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The vaccine or test requirement also applies to those working in “high-risk congregate settings” like adult and senior residential facilities, homeless shelters, and jails, the governor said.

The new policy for state workers will take effect on Aug. 2 and testing will be phased in over the next few weeks, while the policy for healthcare workers and those in congregate facilities will take effect on Aug. 9.

Healthcare facilities will have until Aug. 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 Monday.

“As the state’s largest employer – we’re leading by example. Vaccines are the solution,” Newsom said in a tweet. “We encourage local governments and other businesses to follow suit.”

According to Newsom’s office, “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 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.