California demands health workers get reminders by February 1

California will require healthcare workers to receive booster shots by Feb. 1, officials said on Wednesday, as part of a series of measu...


California will require healthcare workers to receive booster shots by Feb. 1, officials said on Wednesday, as part of a series of measures designed to prevent a surge in hospitalizations and maintain schools open despite the rapid and disturbing spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The state will also require workers in high-risk collective settings like nursing homes and prisons to receive booster shots.

Officials have announced plans to provide one or two rapid tests for each elementary or secondary school student to use when children return to school after winter break; greatly extend the hours of operation of the test site; deploy hundreds of additional workers to overburdened health facilities; and aggressively promote booster injections.

Although scientists in California were the first state in the country to find a case of the Omicron variant, it was quickly detected nationwide and within weeks became the dominant cause of coronavirus infections in the United States, representing for almost three quarters new cases.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday that more than half of the positive test samples sequenced recently in California involved the Omicron variant, possibly a conservative estimate of its true prevalence.

“We can see where the hockey puck is going, and it’s always better to skate where it is,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose. “The good news is, we know what we need to do, and that’s getting boosted and wearing masks. There is therefore no point in waiting.

In Santa Clara County, which encompasses San Jose and where health officials imposed the country’s first stay-at-home order in 2020, more than 80% of residents have now received at least two doses of the vaccine.

Even before the emergence of the Omicron variant, communities across the state had started requiring people to show proof of vaccination or recent negative test results before entering indoor restaurants or other businesses.

Earlier this month, state officials reinstated an interior mask mandate.

And in recent days, restaurants and other businesses have voluntarily closed their doors when employees tested positive.

For many Californians, the memory of a traumatic wave last winter that pushed hospital intensive care units to their breaking point and made vacations dark and lonely.

Mr Newsom noted at a press conference on Wednesday that around 3,600 people were currently in intensive care units in the state, up from nearly 22,000 in January.

Yet in parts of the state – like the vast, predominantly rural San Joaquin Valley – vaccination rates are relatively low and hospital admissions have increased. These are many of the same places where residents and officials have resisted compliance with restrictions and where widespread frustration with pandemic rules fueled an unsuccessful attempt earlier this year to oust the governor from office. In particular, parents were angry at the prolonged school closures.

This winter, Newsom and education officials stressed that keeping schools open is a top priority.

“California schools have been opened because of, and not in spite of, our safety priority,” the governor said in a joint statement with several of the state’s largest educational organizations, including the California Parent Teacher Association. and several unions. “As we approach the New Year, we reaffirm our shared commitment to each other, to our parents and our students: to protect each other and to keep our classrooms open. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: California demands health workers get reminders by February 1
California demands health workers get reminders by February 1
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