The supervisors rejected the resolution declaring support for Israel
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY After hearing public calls during the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting, District 1 Supervisor John Peschong introduced a motion condemning the recent Hamas terrorist attack attack on Israel. However, the motion failed in a 3-2 vote, with Supervisors Jimmy Paulding, Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Bruce Gibson dissenting.
Paulding said that while he also condemned the action, the current situation in Israel and Palestine is very unstable and the solution may not be timely enough. He asked the supervisors’ public information officers to collect reports from each supervisor to issue a press release. Peschong’s motion was voted down, and Paulding introduced a new motion to the press release which was passed unanimously.
Supervisor Debbie Arnold, however, argued that she wants to see a formal resolution on the record.
We can all make statements on the website, but I support a resolution that favors Israel,” Arnold said.
During public comment on the same day, Tuesday, October 17, residents raised concerns about an order recently issued by SLO County Public Works. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. The order was issued in a letter sent to health care workers on September 21 titled Mandatory Flu Vaccination and COVID-19 Vaccination for Health Care Workers in San Luis Obispo County.
Many people have spoken out against the mandate order, which says:
Pursuant to the authority of the Health Officer (CA Health & Safety Code 120175), I hereby order all health care facilities/entities to adopt and implement a policy requiring all HCWs must get an annual flu vaccine and stay current on COVID-19 vaccines (receive at least one dose of updated 2023-24 COVID-19 vaccine) OR sign a written waiver and wear a surgical mask or respirator Higher level respirators (e.g., N95, KN95, KF94) are suitable for duty during seasonal respiratory illness.
Unless and until rescinded, this Order applies during each influenza season, defined as November 1 through April 30 of the following year. If monitoring data for a particular year demonstrates that the peak season differs from these dates, this period may be modified by an additional order.
The Facility/Organization must comply with the order
This order applies to San Luis Obispo County hospitals, community clinics, physician offices, ambulatory care centers, long-term care facilities and emergency medical service providers.
Definition of HCW
For this requirement, health care workers or HCWs are persons, paid or unpaid, who work in an indoor setting where (1) care is provided to a patient or ( 2) the patient has the right of access for any purpose.
Also in the letter, Borenstein said that those who refuse vaccination must wear full respiratory protection throughout the season.
Peschong made a motion, seconded by Arnold, to bring the mandate back to the board as a discussed matter.
Arnold also expressed that she would like to see the authorization come to the council for discussion and said, “I first became aware of the letter after it was sent.
She also wanted to discuss the board’s political process in allowing Borenstein to carry out such a mandate.
In Borenstein’s September letter, she said the directive was issued because, “The best way to achieve our common goal is to prevent the transmission of influenza and COVID-19, especially in health care facility, is mandatory during the season when respiratory illness typically peaks. (flu season). Although COVID-19 does not yet have predictable seasonality, this is the season when the combined burden of all respiratory illnesses typically puts the greatest strain on health care systems.
This order specifically applies to SLO County hospitals, community clinics, physician offices, long-term care facilities, and emergency medical service providers. Borenstein also urged health care facilities and organizations to adopt and implement a policy for all health care workers to receive an annual flu vaccine and to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.
Regarding Peschong’s proposal, Gibson said he felt it would be an ineffective use of the council’s time. This motion failed, with Gibson, Ortiz-Legg and Paulding dissenting.
The next meeting of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, October 31, at 9 a.m.
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