MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Workers employed by Monterey County will now be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or show an authorized exemption.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of this new mandate on Friday that will go into effect on August 16th. Both the public and employees will be required to wear a mask in all county buildings.
Seaside Librarian, Carol Shields, is one of the 5,500 county employees who will need to follow the new policy and she said she agrees.
“Almost everybody who comes in here, interacts with us whether they need help on the computer, or finding books, checking things out,” said Shields. “So we have a lot of face-to-face conversations with people."
Another person who previously worked for the county, who chose not to disclose his identity, said people who refuse to be vaccinated should be given warnings. Also, citizens should not be required to pay for testing for those who choose to not get vaccinated, he said.
“I think if they can't comply, they need to get fired. Plain and simple,” said the anonymous former county employee. “Having a job as a right and putting other people at risk and saying, I'm more important than the people I encounter is a terrible message for anybody who works at the county.
Supervisor Wendy Root Askey said, as a local government the county has a duty to model best practices and she said one of those is getting people vaccinated. When asked about consequences for not following this new requirement from the county, a direct answer was not given.
“Any county worker for any county employee, we value you, we value the service that you provide to our community,” said Supervisor Askew. “If you have questions about the new direction of the board, please have a conversation with your supervisor, and they can get you additional information to answer your questions.
Monterey is currently the only county on the Central Coast that is requiring its county employees to be vaccinated. As of now, Santa Cruz County Spokesperson said they will not be making any changes to their guidance and recommendations.