Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, Oct. 7 @ 4:08 p.m.
Crescent City Council Sends Revised Letter to Newsom Opposing COVID Vaccine Mandates
Crescent City's mayor and mayor pro tem finalized the city's letter to Governor Gavin Newsom opposing the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
According to City Manager Eric Wier, staff sent the letter to the governor's office on Wednesday. This decision comes after the Crescent City Council voted 4-1 on Monday in favor of sending a revised letter to the governor praising his opposition to federal vaccine mandates that correctional officers and support staff at state prisons.
On Thursday, 11 new COVID-19 cases were reported to the Del Norte Public Health Branch, according the county's COVID-19 Information Hub. There are 50 active cases in Del Norte County and three people in the hospital, according to the Public Health Branch.
Del Norte has seen a total of 3,629 COVID cases and 38 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Since the final letter wasn't complete before the Council meeting, city staff posted it on its website Thursday:
Dear Governor Gavin Newsom
The City Council of the City of Crescent City has discussed and debated the issue of mandated vaccinations for the Novel Coronavirus and want to express our objection to these mandates in the state of California. We are concerned about the impact mandates will have on healthcare professionals, correctional staff, educators, children in schools and our community at large. We would respectfully ask that these mandates be reconsidered and removed. As a community whose largest employer is Pelican Bay State Prison, we are grateful for your support in opposing the Federal Court Order mandating vaccinations for correction officers and support staff and urge a similar approach to other sectors.
We acknowledge and understand that COVID-19 and its variants pose a real threat to the state and our community. Further, we understand that the vaccines are largely effective in preventing severe symptoms and hospitalizations associated with contracting COVID among most age groups. We also believe that when it comes to making personal medical decisions that education, encouragement, and consultation with an individual health care professional are a far better approach than governmental mandates.
We are concerned that State vaccine mandates could unintendedly (sic) affect the ability to provide essential services through the loss of professional employees. Nationwide shortages of medical, educational and correctional staff highlight our concerns about individual being forced to choose between their job and the vaccine. People in our community have already faced this reality with some leaving their jobs or retiring early because of their apprehension about the vaccines. In a small rural community these losses are felt more acutely, and their impacts are significant. We are thankful for the State’s support during this recent surge of COVID-19 cases in our community and the need for additional medical staff provided by the State is an example of why we are concerned about losing any of the valuable professionals that serve our community.
We have concerns regarding the recent announcement of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students in private, public, and charter schools, along with educational staff. While we understand that the vaccine mandate would not be implemented until after FDA approval, we feel it is premature to add the COVID vaccines to the well-established list of standard vaccines administered to school age children. Many of our students have been negatively impacted in their educational development by not being in the classroom and we respectfully ask that this decision be reconsidered and that a student’s ability to attend in-person instruction not be dependent on receiving this vaccine.
We appreciate your service to the people of the State of California and to the City of Crescent City and would respectfully ask for the removal of all COVID-19 vaccine mandates currently in effect and that no further mandates be enacted. We are committed to joining with you in encouraging and educating the people of California on the importance of vaccines and believe that htis is the best means of keeping our communities safe while acknowledging the importance of the freedoms that we as Americans value so highly.