San Diego County ends testing for unvaccinated, won't enforce vaccine mandate for new hires

Virus Outbreak Nation's Capital
Posted at 4:06 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 02:49:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County will stop requiring new non-healthcare hires to be vaccinated and will end COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated employees.

According to an employee letter sent on Tuesday, the changes will take effect on April 4.

County health leaders credit the sharp decline in local COVID-19 daily cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in recent weeks.

"The numbers for metrics are trending in the right direction, and we are in a much better place than we've been in many months," said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "We'll continue to closely monitor virus activity in the region and take steps as needed to protect the public and our workforce."

In October 2021, the County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of requiring vaccination for new hires.

The new requirement came with some push back from emergency responders and led to hundreds of people protesting in downtown.

A total of 1,193,449 -- or 55.3% -- of San Diego County residents who are fully vaccinated have received a booster shot, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency

More than 2.94 million -- or 93.4% -- of San Diego County residents age 5 and older are at least partially vaccinated and more than 2.58 million, or 82.1%, are fully vaccinated.