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By Howard Blume, John Myers | Originally Posted on LA Times

California school employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to a weekly test proving they are not infected with the coronavirus under an order announced Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“We think this is the right thing to do,” Newsom said, “and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the No. 1 anxiety that parents like myself have for young children — and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe.”

Newsom had already announced a similar policy for employees of state agencies and an absolute mandate, with limited religious and medical exceptions, for state healthcare workers.

The governor made the announcement at an Alameda County elementary school on Wednesday, where some details of the proposal were unveiled.

A strong statewide vaccine effort for school employees is expected to be welcome news for many of the groups representing those workers. The California Teachers Assn. has said 90% or more of its members have reported they are already vaccinated against COVID-19, and the union pushed hard for early access over the winter to doses of the vaccine.

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