Last week’s public health officer order on COVID-19 testing and personal protective equipment for unvaccinated health care workers and state employees may not be sitting well with some, but it’s the right thing to do. As cases — and hospitalizations — continue to rise both regionally and throughout the state, more must be done to help stem the virus.
Health care workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic, have seen the worst of the pandemic, which is why HASD&IC and CHA publicly supported Gov. Newsom’s effort. Ensuring the health of hospital workers and the patients they care for must be job one. And the more people are vaccinated, the more that we are able to get a handle on the variants — the Delta variant likely accounts for about 80% of new cases in the United States — that continue to wreak havoc on the most vulnerable and unvaccinated.
At the same time, late last week San Diego County announced that, starting in mid-August, it will require its unvaccinated employees to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Both these measures are not just important, but they are key to slowing the virus’ spread.
While “breakthrough” cases are still possible in those who are vaccinated, vaccination has been proven to greatly reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. Vaccinations remain key to keeping our health care workers safe, their patients safe, and our communities safe — and to putting the pandemic behind us, once and for all.