All Santa Cruz County employees will now be required to get a COVID-19 vaccination or submit to weekly testing, following a vote by the board of supervisors on Tuesday.
Under the vote, employees have 30 days to comply with the mandate or agree to the weekly testing.
“This is a significant statement by the board on the importance of vaccinations to protect the health and safety of our community,” Board Chair Supervisor Bruce McPherson said.
The county’s workforce is the second largest in Santa Cruz County, representing 2,400 employees. Already, 85 percent of employees are vaccinated — many of which were under other existing vaccine mandates because of their role in healthcare or congregate settings — said county spokesperson Jason Hoppin.
Countywide, 68.7 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated and 77.7 percent have at least one dose — placing Santa Cruz in 13th place of all California’s 58 counties.
The new county mandate comes as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted full FDA approval on Monday.