California will become the first state in the United States to require all teachers and school staff to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing as schools return from summer vacation amid growing concerns about a highly contagious delta variant, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.
The state Department of Public Health said the new policy applies to both public and private schools and will affect more than 800,000 employees, including about 320,000 public school teachers and a range of support staff such as cafeteria workers and cleaners. It will also apply to volunteers at the school.
Newsom announced the new policy at a San Francisco Bay Area school that reopened earlier this week for in-person classes. Many California schools are back in sessions, and others will start in the coming weeks.
said Newsom, a father of four. “This is knowing that schools are doing everything they can to keep our children safe.”
Several large school districts in the state have issued similar requirements in recent days, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Long Beach Uniform.
California, like the rest of the country, has seen an alarming increase in COVID-19 infections due to the delta variant, which accounts for the vast majority of new cases. It has affected children more than previous strains of the virus, prompting a growing number of teachers’ unions to dampen early opposition to vaccine mandates.
California’s two largest teachers’ unions, both staunch political allies of the governor, said Wednesday that they fully support Newsom’s policy.
Both the California Teachers’ Federation and the California Teachers’ Federation cited a state and state-level survey indicating that nearly 90 percent of teachers have been vaccinated, but they said the increased prevalence of the delta variant, especially among children, makes the new policy necessary. Children under 12 years of age are not yet eligible for the vaccination.
While Hawaii Governor David Ige announced last week that all Department of Education employees will be required to disclose their vaccination status or take a weekly test, California’s order is much more comprehensive, applying to all employees who work in both public and private schools in the country’s most populous country. populated.
Over the past few weeks, Newsom has ordered that all health care workers must be fully vaccinated and has asked that all state employees be vaccinated or opt for weekly testing. The weekly testing schedule is based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For schools, Newsom has already issued a mask mandate that applies to teachers and students. But as of Wednesday, the decision to order vaccinations was left to local areas.
What is happening in Canada
Watch | What is being done to improve indoor air quality for students:
What is happening around the world
As of Thursday morning, more than 204.8 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, according to the coronavirus tracker run by US-based Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll has reached more than 4.3 million.
In the Asia Pacific In the region, the Australian capital will be closed for a week from Thursday after one case of COVID-19 was detected and the virus was found in sewage. Canberra joins Sydney, Melbourne and many cities in the state of New South Wales that are closed due to the delta variable.
This is the first locally acquired case in the city, which has a population of 460,000, since the tenth of July last year. The source of the infection is unknown, said Keren Coleman, chief health officer for the Australian Capital Territory.
Later Thursday, ACT Health tweeted that it had been notified of three more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory.
New Zealand plans to allow quarantine-free entry for vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries from early 2022, as it looks to open its borders again after nearly 18 months of isolation caused by the pandemic.
In the Middle eastAnd Turkey is considering enforcing regular negative PCR tests from parents reluctant to receive the vaccine as the country prepares to return to face-to-face education. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the government was determined to reopen schools on September 6.
in a EuropeRussia on Thursday reported a record high of 808 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours and 21,932 new cases of COVID-19, including 2,294 in Moscow. Daily reported cases in Russia have gradually declined from a peak in July that authorities blamed on the delta-infectious variant and the slow vaccination rate.
French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter on Thursday that France will share 670,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine with Vietnam to help the Asian country cope with the virus.
In the AmericasOn Wednesday, Chile began giving booster injections to those already vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac in a bid to achieve early success after one of the world’s fastest mass vaccination campaigns.
in a AfricaKenyan oxygen producer Hewatele said it has doubled production this year to keep pace with rising demand from hospitals treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.
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