CHICO, Calif. - On Monday a group of health care workers and community members rallied against the state's mandate that all health care workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September.
Dozens gathered for a protest along the Esplanade, near Enloe Medical Center. Many people held up signs and flags, as cars drove by cheering and honking their horns in support.
Action News Now spoke with one of the demonstrators, Diane Kindred who is a registered nurse at Oroville Hospital.
"This is the start of losing freedoms, it has nothing to do with being vaccinated or unvaccinated, we are Americans and we need to come together as Americans and say 'no' to mandates, period," Kindred said. "All of us are on the same page, vaccinated and unvaccinated because it's about American freedom, that's what this is about."
Enloe Medical Center Registered Nurse, Allie Ogden was also at the protest.
She told Action News Now, "We're just medical employees, community members, friends, and family that feel that we should advocate and let our voice be heard for freedom of choice and body autonomy and we're just fighting for freedom."
In a statement from Enloe, Marketing and Communications Manager, Joe Page said,
"In response to the growing number of vaccine mandates across the country and the recent announcement from CDPH requiring all California healthcare workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 30, 2021, peaceful protests are becoming common events around the country. We have become aware that a similar activity is planned in Chico Monday, August 9 between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on 5th Avenue near Enloe Medical Center. It is important to note that this activity involves healthcare workers from across the region, and is not a protest directed specifically toward Enloe. Some Enloe employees may plan to participate and we respect their right to express their personal opinions on this topic.
As an organization, Enloe is bound by regulations set forth by the agencies that govern healthcare in California. We are working diligently to manage the changing landscape as these regulations continue to be modified."
Many people who came out to the event say they plan to have more protests like these in the future and say they are going to keep fighting until their voices are heard.
The Butte County Public Health Department declined to comment on the protest.