San Jose orders boosters for city workers

San Jose city workers must get booster shots for the coronavirus as a condition of their employment.

The San Jose City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of the mandate. There is no timetable yet as discussions are still pending with worker unions, a city spokeswoman said.

"We want to ensure that our own workforce is boosted," said Mayor Sam Liccardo. "The great benefit for those individuals who are boosted is it dramatically reduces the likelihood of actually being hospitalized."

The city has also softened what it takes for the public to get into city facilities like SAP Center, the SJ Convention Center and Center for the Performing Arts.

People "must provide either proof of full vaccination and proof of being up-to-date on boosters - or proof of a negative COVID 19 test," said Dolan Beckel, assistant director of the city's Emergency Operations Center.

That's different from before, when you had be vaccinated to get into city buildings. The city says allowing a negative test aligns with state and federal guidelines. This update takes effect on Feb. 4.

"Certainly we want to avoid risks at locations where we have many people convening in large venues," Liccardo said.

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San Jose City Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco said she knows from personal experience how important it is to be vaccinated. She said she came down the coronavirus before she was to have gotten her booster shot.

"Had it not been for my positive test, nobody would have known that they were sick," she said.

"I do hope that people really heed the warning," Carrasco said. "If we haven't learned anything in the past two years, I don't know what to say. But I'm a true believer in the vaccine and the booster."