- State agencies in California are lagging with 66% of workers fully inoculated.
- Agencies were meant to implement a vaccine or test mandate starting on August 2.
- According to the Los Angeles Times, half of unvaccinated state employees are being tested weekly.
Compliance is lagging months after California’s vaccine-or-test mandate for state agencies was meant to be implemented, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
In late July, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom promised that the state would enact the “strongest vaccine verification system in the US,” announcing a vaccine mandate for all state employees – with the alternative of weekly testing.
But the Times reported that less than a third of the 6,700 employees at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have provided proof of vaccination. Just 75 employees are being tested weekly.
Data released last week by the California Department of Human Resources showed that, overall, California’s state agencies have reached a 66% vaccination rate, well below what officials were aiming for two months out.
In the Department of Motor Vehicles, 59% of employees are vaccinated and close to 3,600 workers are unvaccinated and required to be tested weekly. A DMV spokesperson told the Times that only 411 staff members are being tested weekly, however.
Just less than half the staff at the Prison Industry Authority are vaccinated, while 54% of Dept of Health Care Services employees have verified their vaccinations. Slightly more than half of the California Highway Patrol’s 10,000 employees have shown proof of vaccinations, the Times reported, with CHP also lagging on making testing facilities available to workers.
The news comes is averaging 5,203 new COVID-19 cases per week and 105 deaths per day, according to the report.
In contrast, the vaccination rate for residents 18 years of age and older across the state is 74%, according to the Times. That tails closely to the national vaccination rate for people 18 years of age and older, which is 79.5%, according to the CDC.
Overall, the Times reported that the CHR claimed that only half of the 59,000 unvaccinated state employees are being tested weekly.
Insider reached out to the California Department of Human Resources for comment and the number of state workers who are unvaccinated and not testing.