Among the attendees was a man who said he’s been a Long Beach firefighter for 15 years, and said his colleagues in the LBFD are worried about losing their jobs.
Speaking at a downtown Los Angeles news conference, the sheriff said that as of Tuesday morning, 51.7% of the department’s roughly 16,000 employees are fully vaccinated.
All district employees regardless of their current work assignment will need to provide proof of vaccination by Jan. 3, and students will need to show proof by Jan. 22 to be allowed on campus.
Long Beach is requiring all of its 6,069 employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19—and those workers will face uphill battle if they seek an exemption to the requirement, officials say.
Other area hospitals said some employees chose to leave rather than receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but most staff—more than 90%—are vaccinated.
Though exemptions will be made for religious and medical reasons, weekly testing for COVID-19 will no longer be allowed as a substitute for vaccination against the virus, City Manager Tom Modica wrote in a letter to workers on Wednesday.
The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.