California Mandates Vaccinations, Testing For School Employees

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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California will become the first state in the U.S. to mandate vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 tests for school employees, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

“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 No. 1 anxiety that parents like myself have — I have four young children — and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe,” Newsom said during a press conference at an elementary school in Alameda County, according to WESH2.

Schools will have to be in compliance with the order by Oct. 15. Some California schools are already back in session for the fall, with others set to open in the coming days and weeks. Sixty-five percent of Californian adults are fully vaccinated, according to The Washington Post. The mandate for school employees mirrors a mandate already put into place for California state employees.

The president of America’s second-largest teachers’ union, Randi Weingarten, came out in support of vaccine mandates for teachers earlier this week in order to protect students under 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. (RELATED: Pelosi Calls Newsom ‘A Great Governor,’ Says Recall Election Is ‘Not Good For Children Or Other Living Things’)

Newsom is currently facing a recall election, largely driven by his response to the pandemic. Many California schools and businesses were kept closed for all of the last school year, prompting backlash from parents who want to see their kids back in school this fall.