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LA Sheriff warns vaccine mandate causing ‘mass exodus’ among personnel

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva continues to rail against the county’s vaccine mandate, warning it is causing a “mass exodus” in his department and threatens public safety at a time when violent crime is on the rise.

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LA Sheriff warns vaccine mandate causing ‘mass exodus’ among personnel

“I have repeatedly stated the dangers to public safety when 20%-30% of my workforce is no longer available to provide service, and those dangers are quickly becoming a reality,” Villanueva said in a prepared statement that he posted on social media last week. “We are experiencing an increase in unscheduled retirements, worker compensation claims, employees quitting, and a reduction in qualified applicants.”

As a result, he said, homicide rates in the county would continue to rise, while response times increase and patrol services decline.

“With the pandemic waning, there is no justification for the Board mandate,” Villanueva said. “It is like putting up the storm windows after the storm has passed.”

Under an executive order ratified by the Board of Supervisors in August, all Los Angeles County employees were required to register their vaccination status by Oct. 1 on an online portal, though religious and medical exceptions are allowed.

As of Friday, more than 90% of the county’s employees, including 79% of sheriff’s department workers, had registered their status, Michael Wilson, a county spokesman, said in an emailed statement to The Times. He did not say whether the county is tracking how many employees have resigned or retired early specifically over the vaccine mandate.

“The county expects all department heads to encourage their employees to register as an important public health measure to protect workers and the public we serve,” Wilson said. “The vaccination policy is intended to save lives, not to punish employees based on their vaccination status.”

More than half of the sheriff’s department’s 16,084 employees are fully vaccinated, according to preliminary data collected by the county. Nearly 300 are semi-vaccinated. Another 2,327 employees are not vaccinated, while 1,843 are seeking exemptions.

Of the sheriff’s 9,656 sworn personnel, 3,942 are fully vaccinated, according to county records. There are 188 workers who are semi-vaccinated, while 1,698 are not vaccinated and nearly 1,369 are seeking exemptions.

Of the department’s 6,428 civilian employees, 4,238 are fully vaccinated, according to county data. About 100 are semi-vaccinated and 629 are not vaccinated. Another 474 workers are seeking exemptions.

Notices are being sent out in batches to county employees who have not complied with the vaccination policy, Wilson said. The notice lets them know they must comply with the mandate within 45 days of receiving note.

After that time, employees who still have not shown their proof of vaccination or sought an exemption will get a five-day suspension, Wilson said. Employees then have 30 days once they return from their suspension to comply.

Employees who fail to register are being reminded they must do so and begin testing within five days of the notice or face discipline, Wilson said.

Read more on MSN

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Greece imposes $114 monthly fine on unvaccinated people over 60

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Greece imposes 4 monthly fine on unvaccinated people over 60

Residents in Greece over 60 years old will have to undergo mandatory vaccinations against coronavirus or face monthly 100-euro ($114) fines beginning next year, the prime minister announced Tuesday, declaring the country’s first general inoculation mandate.

The Greek government decided upon the measure in response to a surge in new daily infections and the emergence of the omicron variant. It will take effect on Jan. 16 and the fines will be added to tax bills, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised statement.

Greece’s overall COVID-19 death toll exceeded 18,000 this week with confirmed new infections at high levels. Roughly a quarter of the country’s adult population remains unvaccinated.

Vaccination mandates were introduced over the summer for health care workers and fire service rescuers in Greece, with those failing to comply being suspended from their jobs indefinitely without pay.

The government has ruled out imposing new lockdowns but says it is targeting the elderly with tougher restrictions to protect the public health service as ICU occupancy is near capacity nationwide.

“The new omicron variant is a concern for us and means we must be vigilant,” Mitsotakis said.

“Unfortunately, of the 580,000 unvaccinated of our fellow citizens over the age of 60, only 60,000 set up appointments to get vaccinated in November,” he said. “But it is mainly people over 60 who require hospital treatment and sadly lose their life. These deaths are unnecessary.”

The opposition left-wing Syriza party accused the center-right government of shifting the responsibility of battling the virus onto ordinary Greeks and “targeting people over 60 … with punitive and financially debilitating measures that haven’t been implemented anywhere else in the world.”

Read more on Yahoo News

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Doctor on OMICRON: “Looking at the the mildness of the symptoms, there is no reason for panicking, as we don’t see severely ill patients”

“The hype that’s been created out there in the media & worldwide doesn’t correlate with the clinical picture”

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Fauci says ‘we’re going to have to start living with COVID’

“I don’t think we’re going to eradicate it.”

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Fauci says ‘we’re going to have to start living with COVID’

Chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in an interview that aired Sunday that he believes people will have to begin “living with COVID,” expressing doubt that the virus will be eradicated.

Speaking to host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Fauci touched on previous remarks in which he said he would like to see daily infections fall below 10,000 in order for the U.S. to be able to “live with COVID.” Brennan noted that current COVID-19 infection rates are now approaching 80,000 per day.

Fauci said this current infection level is “unacceptable.”

“I mean, we’ve heard people say, understandably, they’re trying to look for a metric to give to the public that we’re going to have to start living with COVID. I believe that’s the case because I don’t think we’re going to eradicate it. We’ve only eradicated one infection of mankind, and that’s smallpox. I don’t think we’re even going to eliminate it,” the infectious diseases expert said.

Fauci said illnesses such as malaria, polio and measles have become nearly nonexistent through “a very, very, very intensive vaccine campaign.”

Brennan also asked Fauci if the U.S. was currently experiencing a fifth wave of COVID-19 cases.

“Well, we certainly have the potential to go into a fifth wave. And the fifth wave, or the magnitude of any increase, if you want to call it that it, will turn into a wave, will really be dependent upon what we do in the next few weeks to a couple of months,” said Fauci.

He added that the millions of eligible U.S. residents who have not gotten vaccinated, compounded with those who are beginning to experience waning immunity from their initial doses, have resulted in a diminished level of community immunity.

Source: The Hill

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