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first in the nation

California requires teachers to get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Wednesday that school employees in the state must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.

California is the first state to enact such requirements. "We think this is the right thing to do," Newsom said, "and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the No. 1 anxiety that parents like myself have for young children — and that is knowing that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep our kids safe."

The California Teachers Assn. pushed hard to get its members access to COVID-19 vaccines when they were first made available, the Los Angeles Times reports, and said at least 90 percent of its ranks report being vaccinated. The state's largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, is requiring all students and employees — vaccinated or unvaccinated — get tested weekly, as the highly contagious Delta continues to spread. This will involve collecting and processing about 100,000 tests every day.

Earlier this summer, the University of California and Cal State systems both announced that students and staffers must be vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes or enter indoor facilities on campuses.