California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that the state is requiring teachers and school staff to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or agree to weekly testing.
While approximately 90% of teachers have been vaccinated, there are concerns about support staff who appear to have lower vaccination rates. Newsom voiced his concerns with the surging delta variant and its impact on schools.
“We think this is the right thing to do and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open,” Newsom said. “It’s science based. It’s based upon argument, evidence. It’s based upon data. And it’s based upon the vexing challenge that we all face now.”
Newsom previously imposed a statewide mask mandate for schools, which includes vaccinated students. The mask rule doesn’t apply to children under 2 years old, or those with some medical or mental health conditions.
Last week, Newsom said school districts could decide what to do about children who refuse to wear masks, which led to groups of parents demanding districts disregard Newsom’s mask mandate.