A pile of the vaccination certificates pre-signed by Dr. Gabrielle Rosa, in Stockton, Calif., on July 27, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

First responders in Marin County will have to show proof of vaccination against the COVID-19 virus or take weekly COVID tests starting Sept. 15.

Marin County Public Health issued an order Friday that will require vaccinations or weekly testing for law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel and “related staff” who work in or respond to calls at “high-risk settings.”

Those settings include hospitals, jails and nursing homes, among other places.

“We’ve seen that outbreaks in high-risk settings, when they occur, are often sparked by infected staff or visitors who unknowingly bring the virus into the facility,” said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis.

Friday’s order also requires all public sector employers to verify the vaccination status of all employees but doesn’t mandate COVID tests for unvaccinated public sector employees.

The announcement is partially in response to increases in COVID cases in Marin County, more than 90 percent of which are people infected with the Delta variant, county officials said.

“There are currently 18 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Marin County, which is the highest number since March of 2021,” health officials said in a news release. “More than 90 percent of the county’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the past two months have been unvaccinated.”

For more information about vaccines and information on where to find a Marin County Public Health vaccine clinic, people can visit GetVaccinatedMarin.org.

Kiley Russell writes primarily for Local News Matters on issues related to equity and the environment. A Bay Area native, he has lived most of his life in Oakland. He studied journalism at San Francisco State University, worked for the Associated Press and the former Contra Costa Times, among other outlets. He has covered everything from state legislatures, local governments, federal and state courts, crime, growth and development, political campaigns of various stripes, wildfires and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.