Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County Likely to Issue Vaccination Mandate for County Employees

County officials were already on the verge of issuing the mandate, but CDC's update may accelerate the process

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's update on the delta variant is adding fuel to the growing call to get all workers vaccinated.

Santa Clara County health officials are on the verge of issuing a vaccination mandate for its 22,000 employees and the CDC's recent warning may speed up the process.

"I think what all the new information shows is that it's all the more critical for everyone to get vaccinated," said Santa Clara County counsel James Williams.

The county appears to be ready to take a hard stand on vaccinations and COVID-19 precautions.

Just this week, the county reinstitute a mandate for county employees to mask up regardless of vaccination status and is also preparing to exceed state rules.

Santa Clara County will soon require employees to "get vaccinated or lose your job."

"What we are going to be implementing is an actual vaccination mandate," said Williams, "meaning you need to get vaccinated unless you have, for example, a medical exemption."

Some unions have already expressed skepticism.

Mallory Barr, an attorney for the Costanzo law firm which specialized in employee litigation, said the county is on solid legal ground but anticipates legal challenges.

"This infringes on 'individual freedom' and 'liberties' but again, I think employees are within their rights to demand such vaccines from employees so long as they comply with the ADA and Title 7," Barr explained.

She emphasized the public should not view the mandate as "punitive" but rather as a necessary health precaution.

County leaders said they expect to roll out the new mandate sometime next week.

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