MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) – First responders in Marin County will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo weekly testing under a new health order issued by public health officials Friday.
Effective September 15, the vaccine or testing requirement will apply to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who work in or may respond to calls at “high-risk settings,” which officials said include hospitals, jails and nursing facilities.
In a written statement, Marin County Public Health cited rising cases and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant in issuing the order. Officials said 18 people are currently hospitalized in the county with COVID-19, the highest number since March.
Among those hospitalized in the past two months, officials said more than 90% were not vaccinated.
“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,” Marin Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis said.
Officials also raised concerns about potential staffing shortages if workplace outbreaks occur.
Chris Le Baudor, the county’s emergency medical services administrator, said, “We don’t want ambulance, fire or law enforcement crews off-line because of preventable outbreaks.”
Marin joins Contra Costa County in requiring first responders to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Meanwhile, the cities of San Jose and San Francisco, along with Santa Clara County, are requiring all employees to prove vaccination or be tested regularly.
Vaccination info, including Marin County Public Health clinic locations, can be found by visiting http://getvaccinatedmarin.org.