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Mayor Gloria proposes ending COVID-19 emergency, city employee vaccine mandate

city_hall_entrance.jpg
KPBS Staff
The Charles C. Dail concourse entrance of San Diego City Hall is picture in this undated photo.

Mayor Todd Gloria, City Attorney Mara Elliott and City Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert Monday released a joint statement proposing to end the city's COVID-19 emergency declaration and a city employee vaccine mandate.

The city's emergency declaration has been in effect since March 17, 2020, under then-Mayor Kevin Faulconer's administration. Since that date, it has been renewed and extended multiple times by the San Diego City Council.

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"Consistent with the State of California's decision to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency effective Feb. 28, 2023, the city of San Diego will look to take similar action as the conditions requiring a local emergency declaration have steadily improved," Gloria, Elliott and von Wilpert said in the joint statement.

"As part of this action, we will also sunset our vaccine mandate for city employees due to a decrease in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations, and 91% of city employees having been vaccinated.

"We find ourselves in this improved state because, by and large, San Diegans did their part in the fight against the pandemic by getting vaccinated and following public health guidance," the statement added.

The officials thanked first responders, essential workers and those in the medical field for taking on the challenge of keeping the community safe and attempting to limit the spread of the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

"We will continue to treat COVID-19 with the seriousness it demands, but for now we are pleased by the success of our efforts to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public," they said.

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The City Council will consider the proposal during Tuesday's council meeting at 10 a.m.