(CALMATTERS) – For many Californians, it appears that sticks are more effective than carrots. As more and more local governments and businesses adopt policies that require employees — and in some cases customers — to be vaccinated, the pace of inoculations is increasing. The state administered a daily average of 44,000 first doses from July 25 to 31 — a whopping 41% increase from two weeks ago, according to data compiled by the Los Angeles Times.
Sutter Health on Wednesday announced it will require all employees to be vaccinated, two days after Kaiser Permanente mandated the same. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco are considering following in New York City’s footsteps by requiring customers to show proof of vaccination before entering indoor restaurants, gyms and large events. Los Angeles County on Wednesday also required its 100,000 employees show proof of vaccination or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing, and Santa Barbara County is the latest to require masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. Meanwhile, California’s largest state worker union this week filed an unfair labor practice charge against Newsom’s recent directive that state employees either get vaccinated or tested weekly.
In positive pandemic news, the state’s rent relief program — long plagued with slow distribution and logistical hurdles — has made substantial progress in the weeks since Newsom and lawmakers extended a ban on most evictions through Sept. 30. The amount of money paid to struggling renters increased 232% since the end of June, while the number of weekly applications rose more than 57%, according to state data released Wednesday. Nevertheless, local distribution efforts remain plagued by delays.