San Francisco officials updated the city’s health order to mandate getting vaccinated for city workers in high-risk workplaces amid a high percentage of the population being inoculated.

City officials reported that the city has about 75% of its population fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. But with the continued surge of the Delta variant across the United States, residents are increasingly at risk of contracting the highly transmissible strain.

Mandatory Vaccination for City Workers

“Speeds up and advances our timeline for getting staff vaccinated in some of our highest risk settings. In our skilled nursing facilities, our residential care facilities for the elderly, in our acute care hospitals, our jails, our shelters,” Dr. Susan Philip, the acting health officer of San Francisco, said.

Initially, San Francisco officials only required city workers in high-risk workplaces to get vaccinated after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the COVID-19 vaccines. However, the increased risk of the pandemic with the new variants forced authorities to implement new health order mandates. City workers will have until September 15 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, ABC7 News reported.

The high-risk workplaces will have to maintain records of the vaccination status of their employees that have to be ready to be given to the city’s public health officer if requested. There are also exceptions to the mandates based on religious beliefs or qualifying medical reasons.

“If you are going to refuse being fully vaccinated, then you can’t do certain jobs and certainly if it involved taking care of patients and being in close contact with patients. I don’t see how you can safely do that job and say you are truly caring for your patients,” Dr. Chris Colwell, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, said.