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11 Aug, 2021 20:03

ALL California teachers face Covid vaccine mandate or regular testing, Newsom announces

ALL California teachers face Covid vaccine mandate or regular testing, Newsom announces

California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate or weekly testing for teachers and school staff, saying it is “the right thing to do” and making his state the first to pass such a requirement.

The mandate will apply to teachers, as well as “custodial staff, the bus drivers, folks that are critical to supporting the entire school ecosystem,” Newsom said at a Wednesday press conference at Carl B. Munck Elementary School in Oakland. 

“We think this is the right thing to do,” the governor continued, “and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one 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.”

Newsom’s mandate has been expected by many, though he didn’t make the move until Wednesday’s announcement, with the governor saying previously he had confidence in the safety measures in place for teachers and students to return to in-person learning.

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Multiple school districts had already announced their own vaccine requirements before the governor’s statement on Wednesday, though advocates have debated who exactly has the authority to pass such mandates. In states like Texas and Florida, Govs. Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis have banned mask and vaccine mandates, though school districts there have already begun defying the orders by mandating face coverings for students and teachers. 

Los Angeles has already seen a public mask order be reinstated this summer due to rising coronavirus cases. 

Officials also previously announced a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in California, with the requirement kicking in on September 30. 

The new mandate for schools will take effect on Thursday, and districts will need to be in full compliance by October 15.

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