Oakland to consider vaccine ordinance as omicron spreads

Oakland City Council Member Dan Kalb is proposing a new vaccine plan as the coronavirus omicron variant spreads.

If it passes, residents would need to show proof of vaccination at Oakland restaurants, bars, gyms, dental offices, and libraries.

"As you know, if you're unvaccinated, you're more likely to contract the disease and therefore more likely to spread the disease," said Kalb.

Reaction to the proposal is mixed.

"I've had it, my wife's parents got killed by COVID," said Oakland resident Joseph O'Leary. "So I want people to take responsibility and help each other out."

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Some business owners feel the new ordinance would create an even playing field.

Chris Pastena, owner of Calavera and Chop Bar restaurants, says the ordinance would take the policing out of their hands.

"People who might not be vaccinated and might get upset and angry," said Pastena. "And we just really didn't want to put people in harm's way."

On the flip side, other Oakland restaurant owners say the mandatory vaccine checks could hurt many of the businesses already struggling during the pandemic.

The emergency ordinance goes before the city council on Tuesday.

If approved, businesses would be required to post notices informing customers of the new indoor vaccine mandate by Jan. 15.