City of Berkeley to require booster shots for certain employees

Photo of a COVID testing site
Caroline Lobel/Staff

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Certain Berkeley employees must show proof of up-to-date vaccinations, including a booster shot when eligible, by Feb. 7.

The order, issued by city Health Officer Lisa Hernandez, applies to all employees working in restaurants, fitness establishments, indoor events of 500 people or more, adult care facilities, pharmacies, health care workers and all public and private childcare facilities.

“These highly effective vaccines maintain their power when people stay up to date,” the press release states. “Each person vaccinated is less likely to get infected or spread the virus and is also greatly protected against sickness, hospitalization, and death.”

The order also lowers the age of patrons required to have full vaccination, which does not currently include booster shots. Venues must now check for full vaccination for all patrons older than five years old.

Patrons attending indoor events of more than 500 people before March 14 must show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Following March 14, all ticket holders must be vaccinated.

“We continue to move forward through the pandemic by adapting and improving upon the skills we have already learned,” Hernandez said in the press release. “Easy, safe and effective booster shots continue the incredible power of vaccines to lessen severe illness and death. These additional doses have an even greater importance in environments of greater risk.”

Workers with religious or medical exemptions will be required to provide weekly negative test results.

Maria Young is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @maria_myoung.