California is requiring health care workers to get booster shots with the goal of making sure hospitals are prepared for a forecasted surge in COVID cases.
The Golden State currently has the lowest rate of hospitalizations due to the virus with nearly 70% of Californians fully vaccinated.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the mandate Tuesday on Twitter.
“As the Omicron variant continues to spread — we’re stepping up efforts to get more people boosted and keep Californians safe,” Newsom said in a video.
CA will require healthcare workers to get their booster.
As the Omicron variant continues to spread — we’re stepping up efforts to get more people boosted and keep Californians safe.
Tune in tomorrow for more info.pic.twitter.com/6TcqHw4xhI
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 22, 2021
Newsom is expected to provide more details of his plan this week.
The state imposed a directive in September, requiring health care workers to be vaccinated. Since then, thousands of employees have been either been fired or suspended for not complying.
New Mexico is the only other known state to enforce the booster shot for health care workers.
Newsom also warned that if the number of COVID cases should rise, he will re-impose a rule mandating that everyone wears a mask while indoors.
President Biden laid out his plan Tuesday to fight the COVID-19 omicron variant. The strain is the now most dominant in the country and health officials have predicted a surge in cases over the holidays.
With millions traveling over the Christmas holidays, the President addressed the threat of the omicron variant.
“Because Omicron spreads so easily we’ll see some fully vaccinated people get COVID, potentially in large numbers. But these cases are highly unlikely to lead to serious illness,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, U.S. health regulators approved the first pill against COVID on Wednesday. The Pfizer drug will allow Americans to treat the virus early; however, the availability of the medication will be limited.