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New study shows many state workers elect weekly testing over COVID vaccine

Many state workers have the option to get weekly testing or the COVID-19 vaccine and many are electing to get tested.

Posted: Oct 27, 2021 6:17 PM

CHICO, Calif. -  The state mandates all state workers get vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus. 

A Caltrans rep said only 70% of its employees have shown proof of vaccination.

Data from the state’s human resources department shows, the COVID-19 vaccination rate is lower among state workers than the rest of the state's population.

One Chico resident believes it should be up to the employee if they want to get vaccinated or not.

“I don't feel that you need to be forced to get it,” said Chico resident Nancy Kelley. “Only tested. Not forced to take the shot. I don't feel that people should lose their jobs because they don't want to have the COVID shot.”

Other state departments are seeing even lower vaccination rates.

The state’s human resources department reports that only 52% of California Highway Patrol staff members are vaccinated.

More than 3,000 DMV workers are unvaccinated and about only 400 of them are getting tested weekly.

One man headed into the DMV Wednesday shared what he thought about state workers not being mandated to get the shot.

“I think mandates are a good thing,” said Chico resident Justin Bryant. “It is the only way out of this, to be vaccinated. We have had vaccine mandates for hundreds of years now. Going back to polio, smallpox, inoculations at the start of our country so this is nothing new.”

Less than a third of CAL FIRE employees are vaccinated and as it stands now, the agency is only testing 75 out of 6,700 unvaccinated employees weekly.

Data from the state’s human resources department shows the COVID-19 vaccination rate is lower among state workers than the general population.

Overall, 66% of state workers have provided proof of vaccination since the mandate went into effect three months ago. Though it is not required for state workers to be vaccinated, health officials still urge people to get the COVID-19 shot.

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We've had a gray and cool start to the first full week of December in northern California. Light rain showers will fall tonight, we can expect a breezy and brighter Tuesday, with much more active weather ahead.
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