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Tuolumne County Government Workers Could Face Choice To Vaccinate Or Test

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Sonora, CA — Strong opinions were voiced over whether Tuolumne County government workers should be forced to show proof of the COVID-19 vaccine, or take weekly tests and continue to wear a mask.

The Public Health Department delivered a report at today’s board of supervisors meeting noting that there have been 414 new COVID-19 cases, locally, since July 2.

216 are active cases. 15 are currently hospitalized at Adventist Health Sonora and two of which are on ventilators.

Board Chair Ryan Campbell surveyed fellow board members after the presentation about whether they would like to follow a similar model being implement in relation to federal and state government employees where workers will soon have the choice to show proof of vaccination or receive weekly tests.

Campbell argued, “We have to do something.”

Adding, “We can’t pretend things are normal, when they are not.

The potential action would impact the county’s 670 employees, and Campbell noted that around half are already vaccinated. He also stated that the county has had 72 COVID related deaths over the past 16 months, and if that many people died in traffic accidents at a certain intersection, “people would be screaming for the county to do something.”

Campbell received support from supervisors Jaron Brandon and David Goldemberg. Brandon argued it is a “reasonable compromise” to give employees the option of showing proof of vaccine or getting regular testing (plus mask-wearing). Goldemberg stated it would also help the local economy stay strong if people are healthy, and it would better ensure that schools can operate in person.

Meanwhile, there was strong opposition voiced from Supervisors Kathleen Haff and Anaiah Kirk.

Haff argued, “I recognize that I am in the minority here, and when this does come back to the board for action, I will bring studies. There is a lot of stuff that has not been talked about in this room, and a lot of information that you cannot find on Google, but you can find from reliable sources.”

She added, “We have not talked about the VAERS report. That is those who have been harmed by vaccinations or who have died. Right now, I think the number, and they are six months behind by the way, is getting close to 12,000 people who have been killed, verifiably, by the vaccination.”

She stated that government should not be directing workers to get vaccinated, adding “your body, your choice.”

Supervisor Kirk said he supports the Public Health Department’s efforts to make the vaccine available to anyone who wants it, but added, “This comes down to a personal decision.”

He said pushing the vaccine on county workers would be a violation of personal rights, and he believes a possible violation of the Constitution. He argued that Tuolumne County would be heading down a “Marxist and Socialist” path. Stating, “I am not going to set the stage to violate freedoms.”

Since the specific issue discussed was not on the agenda, no formal action could be taken today. It will come back for a vote at a future meeting, as a majority are in favor of the concept.

If approved, it would only impact county workers, and not private employers in the county.