The state of California will begin requiring all health care workers to receive the COVID booster shot.
Governor Gavin Newsom announced his decision on the matter Tuesday evening, as federal health officials fear that the steady rise of the Omicron variant will continue to spread in different parts of the country.
The state governor took to Twitter to confirm the move, expressing his concern regarding the increasing numbers of cases linked to the Omicron variant within California.
The governor says that this decision is based on the objective of keeping all state residents safe in the foreseeable future, and to put hospitals across the state in better position to face the rising variant.
"With Omicron on the rise, we're taking immediate actions to protect Californians and ensure out hospitals are prepared," said Governor Newsom.
The Governor's decision comes as the county of Sacramento recently confirmed the first cases of the new variant in the county, and they believe the number of cases will continue to increase.
"We do anticipate more will pop up. This has shown to be very a contagious variant," said Samantha Mott, a spokesperson for Sacramento County Public Health.
Although there is much research to be done on the new variant, health officials can assure that the Omicron variant could spread three times quicker than Delta variant.
This is the second time this year the Governor issues a state-wide requirement of COVID vaccinations for health workers. In August of this year, the Governor issued a mandate that required all health workers to get their second vaccine dose by September 30.
Today's mandate announcement also comes hours after President Joe Biden confirmed the purchase of up to 500 million at-home rapid COVID tests that will be available to Americans at no cost.
Governor Newsom says he will hold a press conference tomorrow where he will address more in-depth details involving today's announcement, and will also address other ways he plans to combat the rising variant.