Gov. Gavin Newsom prepares to speak at a press conference to announce a new requirement for all school teachers and employees to show proof of vaccination or to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, at Carl B. Munck Elementary School in Oakland on Aug. 11, 2021. Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new vaccine and testing requirements for teachers as schools begin to open for the new academic year, amidst an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations from the Delta variant. CalMatters’ education reporter Joe Hong talks with Nigel about the mandate for teachers to either be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

Hong interviewed public health experts for his reporting and said that the general consensus was that another massive school shutdown is unlikely. “They’re all pretty hopeful that, even with the Delta variant, schools will be able to stay open. They point to some studies last year that schools across the country, places like Wisconsin, and also places like Singapore, where they kept schools open and it didn’t lead to any additional community spread.”

Newsom also recently required healthcare professionals to be vaccinated by the end of September. CapRadio healthcare reporter Sammy Caiola joins the podcast to talk about how some healthcare unions have actually pushed for the full vaccination mandate, with certain accommodations like paid time off for vaccine symptoms, after Newsom originally announced in July that they could choose to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. 

The consequences aren’t explicit and it’s going to be a matter of enforcement, Caiola reflected. “It’s a mandate, so the understanding is that you have to do this to work in this industry.” Listen to the “California State of Mind” episode, co-hosted by Nigel Duara and Nicole Nixon, on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Follow @yourgoldenstate, @CalMatters and @CapRadioNews on Twitter to engage with our show every week and see the top California news of the day.

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Courtney is the marketing coordinator at CalMatters, where she focuses on developing audience relationships. She was an Editor-in-Chief at Cosumnes River College’s student newspaper before transferring...