Gov. Gavin Newsom
Dear Commons Community,
California has become the first state to require all public school teachers and staff be vaccinated before returning to their positions or submit to weekly testing for Covid-19.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the sweeping policy yesterday, saying it’s the only way for in-person education to return safely in the fall.
“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,” Newsom said in a statement.
“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 takes effect today.
“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, the state’s top 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.”
Newsom’s action comes amid a recall effort that’s slated for the ballot box Sept. 14.
Yesterday’s order could pose some political risk to Newsom, but the state has generally embraced vaccinations as 53.7 percent of Golden State residents have been fully inoculated, according to a rolling count by NBC News.
That compares relatively well to other large states such as Texas (44.6 percent), New York (57.9), Florida (49.7) and Pennsylvania (53.1), Illinois (49.2), Ohio (47.0) and New Jersey (59.2).
Good move by Gov. Newsom!