CoCo to require first responders, mental health care workers to be vaccinated

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(CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif.) First responders and other high-risk jobs will be required to show proof of booster vaccination, according to an announcement by Contra Costa County health officials Monday.

More specifically, first responders and workers in homeless shelters will be required to provide verification that they have received a booster dose of the vaccine. The order would take effect on Jan. 10 and would require non-boosted workers to test weekly with either a PCR or antigen test for COVID-19.

As noted in the press release, this mandate applies within the county to law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who work in or may respond to emergency calls at high-risk facilities like hospitals or jails and nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Additionally, the booster mandate applies to non-emergency workers who help transport patients to the aforementioned locations.

Employers are required to keep vaccination records for employees that provide proof of their booster shots.

"The omicron variant is much more infectious than previous strains of COVID-19," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer.

Contra Costa initially identified its first patients infected with this variant last week, two of three were fully vaccinated but none had received a booster shot.

Roughly one-third of county residents ages 16 and older have received the booster dose.

For more information about booster doses within Contra Costa County, click here. To find a location near you that offers booster vaccinations, click here.

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