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Supervisors To Send Governor Letter On Vaccine Mandate Exemption

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Sonora, CA – A letter calling for a vaccine mandate exemption for county employees who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 won approval by Tuolumne Supervisors at today’s meeting.

The letter, fashioned after one sent by Siskiyou County, was brought to the board by District 4 Supervisor Kathleen Haff. It is in response to the state’s vaccine mandate for certain county employees (such as healthcare), stating, “We request that you reconsider this mandate, providing an exemption clause for the population of those who have had COVID-19 and have recovered, for this population now has natural immunity. They should be treated equally to those who have been vaccinated.” That would mean those with natural immunity would not have to be tested weekly for coronavirus.

Additionally, the letter notes that county workers, especially healthcare workers, should not be in fear of losing their jobs and stresses, “Hospitals and clinics, including those in Tuolumne County, are operating on minimal staff and any additional loss of health care workers would severely hamper our local facility’s ability to treat sick and injured patients.”

Supervisors David Goldemberg (Dist. 1) and Jaron Brandon (Dist. 5 ) voiced concerns about the last paragraph of the letter having to do with recently released studies regarding how long natural immunity lasted for those who had recovered from COVID. Both agreed they would be in favor of sending the letter if that paragraph was removed.

A citizen caller, who did not give a name, objected to the letter being sent and called it “not wise” as there is not enough long-term data to be doing it at this time. She stated the “major reason for her opposition is that “there is no way to know how long the natural immunity lasts.”

The letter was approved 4-1 with Chair Ryan Campbell agreeing with the caller in opposition to the letter.

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