California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced three new steps to battle a dramatic rise in cases of COVID-19 led by the new Omicron variant.
Newsom Wednesday outlined three initiatives aimed at slowing the spread. He says that all health care and nursing home workers in California will need to have received their booster shots by Feb. 1, extending the existing mandate that previously required that same workforce to be vaccinated by Sept. 30,
The governor also said the state has ordered 6 million coronavirus tests for distribution to school districts throughout the state to be used as students return to school after the holiday break. The hours of testing operations across the state, he added, will also be extended, especially in areas currently experiencing high demand.
"I do not want to see our schools shut down, let there be no doubt,” Newsom said. The governor’s office clarified that return-to-school testing will not be mandatory.
Case rates continue to rise in San Diego County as the Omicron variant gains traction throughout the region, though the increase is not yet being felt in hospital beds, according to the latest weekly coronavirus update from the county health department. There were a total of 7,507 new cases reported over the past week ending Tuesday, a 59 percent increase over the 4,719 detected the week before, though the region’s cumulative number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations was comparatively flat at 387, just 16 more than the 371 listed one week ago.
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