Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that all California school employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing under a new order.
Newsom announced this new order at an Alameda County elementary school and said,
“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 for young children — and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe.”
The California Teachers Association has stated that 90% or more of their members have reported that they have already been inoculated against COVID-19.
California's largest school system, the LA Unified School District, took matters into their own hands by requiring all their employees and students to submit to weekly testing, despite vaccination status. This means that LAUSD will be collecting and processing approximately 100,000 COVID tests per day. Officials within the LA Unified School District took this step to require all employees and students to be tested due to evidence that shows even vaccinated people can catch and transmit the Delta variant, which is highly contagious.
Education officials for LA County, which has 80 school districts, estimate about 83% of K-12 school district employees are vaccinated.
The Los Angeles Community College District has implemented similar rules for staff and students requiring they either provide proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. The University of California and Cal State systems also put strict rules into place - they will turn away students and staff from in-person classes and indoor campus facilities if they are not vaccinated.
Dr. Anthony Fauci endorsed a vaccine mandate for school employees. He stated he believes that state and local governments should require teachers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He would say during an MSNBC interview,
“Yeah, I’m going to upset some people on this, but I think we should,” ... “This is very serious business. You would wish that people would see why it’s so important to get vaccinated.”
Schools across California have already started instruction, with more going back to school within the next few weeks.