Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that the state of California would require health care workers to receive a booster of the coronavirus vaccine, promising that the hospital would prepare for a new version of the disease that would spread throughout the state.
California already requires health care workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. This policy came into effect in September and has since led to the dismissal or suspension of thousands. Currently, it will be at least the second state to require healthcare professionals to receive boosters, following New Mexico.
Newsom announced this on his personal Twitter account. His office refused to provide further details such as the number of affected workers, when it would take effect, and whether frequent inspections would be accepted as an alternative. Newsom is planning a press conference in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday.
“California will require healthcare workers to get their booster,” Newsom said. “With Omicron on the rise, we’re taking immediate actions to protect Californians and ensure our hospitals are prepared.”
“The Omicron variant is spreading across the world so we’re stepping up our efforts to get more people boosted and keep Californians safer.”
In California, all healthcare professionals will be required to receive a booster.
California is far better than many other states fighting the coronavirus surge. In the Midwest and Northeast regions, sub-zero temperatures and hospitalizations are most common, keeping people indoors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists California as a place of “high” infection with the virus, as well as almost every other place in the country. However, over the past week, California has averaged 114 new cases per 100,000 people, less than half the national rate.
Meanwhile, coronavirus-related hospitalizations in California have slowly increased to 3,852, up 15% in the last 11 days. Less than half as many as during the late summer peak and one-fifth of a year ago, before the vaccine became widely available.
However, while the number of patients in hospitals is generally lower than last winter, many hospitals have fewer staff to treat patients. The staff shortage is due to the fact that it is difficult for companies to find workers, including hospitals.
A recent study by the University of California, San Francisco estimates that a shortage of state nursing staff could continue until 2026.