The rise of the über-contagious Delta variant has the Goleta City Council returning to virtual meetings as of August 17 and the city implementing vaccination or mandatory testing among city employees. About 60 percent of city employees are confirmed to be vaccinated, city spokesperson Kelly Hoover said, though information was still being collected. Proof of vaccination will be required, or employees will need to be tested weekly, once the details are worked out. Vaccination not only protects the vulnerable, Mayor Paula Perotte said, but “the sooner we beat this pandemic, the sooner we can get our families and businesses moving forward.”
With only 62.4 percent of the eligible county residents vaccinated, Goleta encouraged everyone to visit County Public Health’s portal for vaccine information and locations: publichealthsbc.org/vaccine.
All state employees were required as of August 2 to show proof of vaccination or be tested once a week. Because of the high rate of spread in close quarters and the vulnerability of people in medical settings, the California requirement includes all workers and volunteers in hospitals, care facilities and clinics, or medical centers as of August 9. They were to be fully vaccinated by September 30, though exemptions exist for religious belief or a qualifying medical reason. People who remained unvaccinated are to be tested twice a week and wear an N95-type high-level respirator or face mask in the facility.
To that end, Cottage Health announced that visitors would be asked to verify that they’d completed the COVID-19 vaccination series. Alternatively, they could produce negative COVID tests results within 72 hours before the visit. All visitors and staff would be wearing facemasks in order to protect patients too young to be vaccinated as well as those who are immunocompromised and more vulnerable to the virus.
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