Bay Area health officials urge employers to mandate COVID vaccines for workers

California
Victor Villegas, 78, right, receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot from a health care worker at a vaccination site in the Mission district of San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

Victor Villegas, 78, right, receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot from a health care worker at a vaccination site in the Mission district of San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

As COVID-19 case rates mount, Bay Area health officials are now asking private employers to take a larger role in countering the spread of the Delta variant by recommending that they begin requiring employees to be vaccinated.

Health officials in Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties at a Thursday briefing implored workplaces to get more involved. Public officials have not made such explicit recommendations before, but said the current outbreak requires aggressive action to boost vaccination rates.

“Unvaccinated workers pose a risk not only to themselves but also to their co-workers and the members of the public they interact with,” said Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano. “Employers have an obligation to provide safe workplaces for their employees, and employees are also interested in … working in a place that is safe and is not putting their health at risk.”

Vaccines have been available for over seven months, but the rate of vaccinations has stalled, just as the transmissible Delta variant has become the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the country. The nearly 62% of Californians who are vaccinated is not enough, officials say.

Read the full story on LATImes.com.

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