California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Wednesday that all teachers and staff at schools will be required to either get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, marking the first state in the country to issue such a requirement.
Newsom made the announcement while visiting a San Francisco Bay Area school Wednesday that had already opened after the summer break, according to the Associated Press.
"To give parents confidence that their children are safe as schools return to full, in-person learning, we are urging all school staff to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are how we will end this pandemic," said Governor Newsom in a statement Wednesday.
"As a father, I look forward to the start of the school year and seeing all California kids back in the classroom."
The new policy will take effect on August 12, 2021, with schools needing to be fully compliant by October 15, 2021, according to the statement.
"There's no substitute for in-person instruction, and California will continue to lead the nation in keeping students and staff safe while ensuring fully open classrooms," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer.
"Today's order will help the state's continued efforts to increase vaccinations, similar to the orders encouraging state and health care workers and businesses to get vaccinated."
The new policy comes as California hospitals announced that all visitors to facilities will be required to show proof of vaccination or show proof of a negative test. This builds upon a previously issued requirement for all workers in healthcare settings to be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021.
According to the news statement, "As of last week, California administered 335,009 new first doses, a 24 percent increase compared to the previous two weeks. This is a 62 percent increase compared to the week of July 5- July 11." The increase mirrors a nationwide jump in cases as the delta variant spreads across the country.
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