Dec 22 - California will require physicians to get a preventive COVID-19 vaccine booster by Feb. 1, as part of a state's response to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The mandate follows a Sept. 30 order that health workers must have fully vaccinated.
We acknowledge that just being fully vaccinated isn't enough with that new variant, and we believe it's important to increase this requirement by getting that third dose, to get boosted," Newsom said at a briefing.
The employee who didn't receive a booster must test twice every week before Feb. 1, Newsom said in a statement. Workers can ask for a citation if his religion or his medical reasons are grounds for exemption.
California, the US's most populous state, lags slightly less than its national average for full vaccinations with 65.5%, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In spite of the low COVID-19 infection rates in California, Newsom cited recent developments that show that new cases nearly doubled in the past week as the coronavirus exploded in the country.
"I'm mindful that this is one of the nation's lowest positivity rates -- the lowest so-called "lowcase rates" -- that can change over a few days, not just weeks or months," said he.
As soon as they get back to school, the governor announced that all public school students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, will receive a COVID-19 test. The state ordered six million test kits.
The state is only 0.3% of school closures, which has 12 percent of the student population in the country, said he.
California will extend the hours of state-owned tests that are running at capacity, said Newsom.