Three months after Gov. Gavin Newsom required state workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing, his pledge that California government would lead by example has not been fulfilled: Many public agencies face low vaccination rates, and most state-run workplaces have failed to test unvaccinated employees.
At the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, for example, fewer than a third of employees have provided proof they are fully vaccinated, while 6,700 employees are either not vaccinated or have declined to provide their status. Cal Fire said it is testing just 75 employees.
The Department of Motor Vehicles, where 59% of employees are fully vaccinated, has about 3,600 unvaccinated staffers working in offices across the state who are required to be tested weekly. But only 411 of them are being tested, a DMV spokeswoman said.
Some departments have failed to report vaccination rates or testing information altogether, but the California Department of Human Resources said the data it has received show that roughly half of 59,000 unvaccinated state employees were tested as required during the first week of October.
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