Health officials in Santa Clara, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties on Thursday urged employers to get their employees vaccinated as soon as possible as the Bay Area continues to see an increase in COVID-19, mainly those in those who have not been vaccinated.
County health officials said California’s easing of community and workplace transmission protections since mid-June and the rapid spread of the more contagious delta version of the COVID-19 virus has made the rate of cases higher and higher in businesses and workplaces. But there is a high risk of transmission. a result.
“Workers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 pose a substantial health and financial risk to the workplace,” said Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano. “Most importantly, workplace exposure has led to serious illnesses and deaths.”
The recommendation comes as new cases are rising at such a clip that if California still had a color-coded reopening blueprint it retired on June 15, a dozen California counties including Contra Costa, Alameda, had wide-ranging infections. The most restrictive for will be in the purple level. and Solano. San Francisco and Santa Clara will be in the second most restrictive red tier.
Health officials said employers are requiring medical-grade face masks and frequent COVID-19 tests for employees who have not been vaccinated. He said he hoped a recommendation would be enough to require employers to vaccinate.
“We have seen the recommendations take effect in the past,” said Santa Clara County Deputy Health Officer Dr. George Hahn, adding that county officials were inspired to hear from some employers that a recommendation would be helpful. “Could there be more action in the future? Of course. We are not saying that nothing is wrong. But that’s what we are recommending today.”
Contra Costa County communications officer Kim McCarl said that although only three of the Bay Area’s nine county health officials are now making recommendations, “we hope to see more in the coming days.”
San Mateo County announced Thursday that starting Monday all county employees and visitors to county facilities will be required to wear masks to help reduce rising cases. Bay Area counties recommend that everyone wear masks in indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status.
The state is requiring staff to deliver vaccines to nursing homes, and Contra Costa County and San Francisco have outgrown other high-risk settings, including hospitals and correctional facilities. San Francisco has also announced that all city employees will be required to vaccinate once the vaccine is now fully approved in the US under emergency use authorization.
Health officials said current state and federal employment laws favor employers that require documentation of vaccination status, requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, and requiring additional safety precautions, including Including masking and frequent testing for unvaccinated employees. Resources for employers are available at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Check back for an update on this developing story.