A worker prepares syringes with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic in Gonzales, on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

All Monterey County employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or show proof of an exemption and submit to regular testing, following a unanimous decision by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on July 30. 

The new mandate will go into effect on Aug. 16. The supervisors also approved a new mask mandate that will require all county employees and members of the public to wear masks while inside county buildings. 

Since the state lifted pandemic restrictions on June 15, the delta variant of COVID-19 has crept into the county and, according to local health officials, now accounts for about 90 percent of new local cases. Several jurisdictions have renewed mask mandates and recommendations, even for those vaccinated, to keep the spread of the virus at bay. 

"I generally am one that very strongly believes in personal choice in what happens with your body, as a parent, as an individual, as a woman," board chair Wendy Root Askew said following her vote. "So I don't take this decision today for a vaccination mandate lightly. I also feel we have an overriding responsibility to ensure the health of those around us."

For information on getting a Covid-19 vaccine, see the Weekly's vaccine guide.

Covid-19 testing locations can be found on the Monterey County Health Department testing web page.

Christopher Neely covers a mixed beat that includes the environment, water politics, and Monterey County's Board of Supervisors. He began at the Weekly in 2021 after five years on the City Hall beat in Austin, TX.

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