Much progress has been made to slow the pandemic in our county within the past 15 months. To date, more than 83% of people 12 and older in our county have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
We have a lot to celebrate for now, but we must not lower our guard. With COVID-19 cases rapidly on the rise, leaving unvaccinated individuals at risk for serious illness and death, the health officers of Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and San Francisco counties strongly urge all employers to consider implementing workplace COVID-19 safety policies that require their workforce to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
For any employees who are not yet fully vaccinated, employers must require and enforce masking under current state law. In addition, employers are encouraged to require frequent COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated employees.
The relaxing of community and workplace transmission protections since mid-June in California and the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is much more contagious than the original strains of the virus, have led to significantly higher case rates, and a higher risk of transmission at businesses and workplaces as a result.
Employers can play a critical role in ensuring a safe workplace environment and boosting vaccination rates among working-age individuals by requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, with very limited exceptions for medical exemptions or strongly held religious beliefs.
“Eight months since the first COVID-19 vaccine was administered, COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be highly effective, and very safe, and are the most important tool we have for preventing COVID-19 illness, hospitalizations, and deaths,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “We encourage employers to take strong action to promote COVID-19 safe workplaces through vaccination and other workplace safety requirements.”
Together in health,
County of Santa Clara