Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant, San Jose has became the first city in California to require that city workers have a booster shot and that visitors of large, indoor events at city-owned facilities show proof of a booster or a negative COVID-19 test before they enter.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who announced the plan in late December, said during Tuesday night’s council meeting that the mandate is designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization.
“That is a great public health benefit for all of us, particularly as we’re concerned about capacity at hospitals,” he said.
In a tweet later that evening, Liccardo thanked his fellow city council members for unanimously approving the new health mandate, saying that the city “leads the US (with) this measure to avoid high hospitalizations and tragic outcomes.”
The new ordinance will apply to events of more than 50 people and will impact more than a dozen facilities, including the SAP Center, San Jose Convention Center and Center for Performing Arts. It will take effect beginning Feb. 4, according to Dolan Becker, the city’s director of the city’s office of civic innovation.
The city currently requires its staff and attendees of events with 50 or more people at city-owned buildings to show proof of full vaccination prior to entry. City workers are required to be fully vaccinated unless they have a medical or religious exemption.
Scott Emmert, spokesperson for Sharks Sports & Entertainment, said late Tuesday that the organization, which runs the SAP center, has been in touch with city staff but were “waiting on the process to be formalized before finalizing any implementation plans.”
Since Sept. 20, the SAP center has required that all attendees ages 12 and older show proof of full vaccination — one shot for Johnson & Johnson and two for Pfizer or Moderna recipients — before entering the entertainment facility. There was no replacement testing option under the previous order. Those under the age of 12 could enter without a test or proof of vaccination.
According to Deckel, a child who is not yet eligible for a booster shot or has only received one COVID-19 vaccine shot so far would be required to show proof of a negative test upon entry.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment