Photo Courtesy: Pixel Images
Governor Newsom announced a new health order at a press conference on August 10th, resulting in California being the first state to require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for all school personnel.
A new mutation of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) widely known as the ‘Delta variant’ expanded to the U. S at the end of 2020. Recent cases of the delta variant keep spreading and the death count keeps rising. The total reported cases are up to 36,308,259 and the daily average alone on August 11th was 124,234, an 86 percent change in just 14 days.
Gov. Newsom’s primary goal is to improve California’s efforts on defeating the virus. He explains how he wants California to lead by example and do better by requiring a vaccine mandate or a verification for not just teachers but credentialed staff, para-educators, custodial staff, bus drivers, and workers “that are critical to supporting the entire school ecosystem.”
“It’s science-based, based upon the argument, evidence, it’s based upon data and it’s based upon the vaccine challenge that we all face now in this state and our nation, for that matter around the world of trying to address this latest mutation, the Delta mutation in our state” said Gov. Newsom.
According to Newsom, he believes enforcing this mandate will be a sustainable way to keep schools open and keep parents that are worried about their children’s health at ease. The physical and mental health of students in school is a priority and they have never, “been more resourced in terms of supporting the academic and social/emotional needs of our children” said Gov. Newsom.
In contrast there are teachers who believe it should be a choice,”The fact we have the vaccine just shows American ingenuity and the fact it is helping the old and helping people with underlying health conditions. That’s what we want,” said Mr. Donoho, a history teacher at Don Lugo. Although he is conflicted because he does not typically receive flu shots or medications, he is not anti-vaccine but believes it should be a choice, “As a history teacher and knowing history when you mandate things to the public, where they have to do it, it is kind of scary” said Mr. Donoho.
This new health order will be in effect by October 15th, leaving all school personnel to decide whether they will receive the vaccine or take routine testing, a decision is going to have to be made.