December 22, 2021
With the highly transmissible omicron variant now accounting for more than 50% of new cases in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that California health care workers will be required to get a COVID-19 booster by February 1, 2022, in order to be considered fully vaccinated and be tested twice weekly in the interim if they are not boosted.
With cases more than doubling in California over the last week, Gov. Newsom also announced plans to extend operating hours at testing sites with increased demand to avoid bottlenecks and increase access. Additionally, he said the state will provide at least one at-home test kit to every K-12 student returning to public school after the winter break to keep classrooms safe and students in school.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday also announced the federal government would provide 500 million free rapid home-testing kits while also readying 1,000 military medical professionals and additional federal vaccinators to help bolster hospital staff and responses across the nation in a surge of support for the health system. The President has also directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to work with hospitals across the country in anticipation of expanded hospital capacity needs.