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San Diego Doctor Applauds State’s Vaccine Order

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination super station at Gros...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination super station at Grossmont Center in La Mesa, Calif. Feb. 2, 2021.

With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new vaccine policy announcement, pressure is on to put the vaccination protocols in place.

Along with ordering vaccines or regular COVID-19 tests for state workers, California will require health care settings to verify that workers are fully vaccinated or tested at least once a week.

Listen to this story by Melissa Mae.

Unvaccinated workers will be subject to at least weekly COVID-19 testing and will be required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Dr. Jim Schultz agrees with Newsom’s new vaccine policy.

“We need all of our health care workers. We need all of our staff because we’re very busy right now with COVID,” he said. “We can’t really afford to have health care personnel offline, sick with COVID, dying from COVID or just infected with COVID.”

Schultz is the chief medical officer at Neighborhood Healthcare, with 16 facilities throughout San Diego and Riverside counties.

“We want our patients to feel comfortable that they’re not going to come here and catch a disease that they didn’t come in here with,” Schultz said. “So, I think it’s our responsibility, our ethical duty to our patients to make them any sicker than they are.”

Approximately 70% of Neighborhood Healthcare employees are vaccinated, he said. Schultz hopes the new health protocols encourage the rest of the staff to get vaccinated.

“Testing’s not the most pleasant thing in the world, so that might convince some people," Schultz said. "Also the threat if the test comes back positive they have to stay off of work for several days and they may or may not have sick time available to them.”

Newsom’s order also applies to workers in high-risk congregate settings, such as jails and homeless shelters. Schultz said this is important.

“Especially with the new delta variant, which is much more contagious than the other strains have been," he said. "It can really rip through any sort of congregate setting.”

Schultz said Neighborhood Healthcare is making it easy for staff to get vaccinated.

“We have, ever since the vaccines came out. We have set times where anybody can, any of our employees can get a vaccine," he said. "And really if anybody asks for it at any time, we have a good supply of vaccines and we can get them the vaccine.”

Reported by Melissa Mae

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Photo of Melissa Mae

Melissa Mae
Freelance Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a freelance reporter, I cover a wide variety of stories. One day I may cover the current COVID-19 situation and the next day my story may be about a San Diego landmark. With a background in sports broadcasting, any time I get to cover a sports story is an added bonus! I love covering stories about the place I am lucky enough to call home, San Diego.

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