| Santa Ana City Manager Kristine Ridge has announced that she will require City employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to better protect staff and members of the public against the virus.
“Santa Ana has the highest case rate in Orange County, and more than 800 Santa Ana residents have died from this disease,” City Manager Ridge said. “With case numbers rising again, almost entirely among the unvaccinated, it’s essential that we as a City lead the way and do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among our employees and in our community.”
This decision reflects similar policy changes in both the public and private sectors across the country in response to the pandemic and follows public health officials’ recommendations.
City employees who are unable to get vaccinated for health or religious reasons will be provided reasonable accommodations, such as regular COVID-19 testing. Unvaccinated City employees are already required to wear facemasks while at work and vaccinated employees are encouraged to wear masks when in close proximity to others indoors.
The City Manager will discuss this policy change with employee labor groups before it goes into effect.
From the outset of the pandemic, the City of Santa Ana has made employee and public safety paramount. Last year, the City began requiring the use of masks at City facilities and checking temperatures of anyone entering municipal buildings. The City installed protective Plexiglas shields at workspaces and public counters, increased sanitization and cleaning, installed air purification systems, made more services available online, and began having virtual meetings and events.