SAP Center may have looked like it always has on Sunday, but for those who looked closer at the billboard outside, you could see information about the new rule going into place. The rule requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter here for those 12 and older. It also requires those 14 and over present their Clear Health Pass.
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"This is definitely a move in the right direction," said UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong. The new mandate will require proof of vaccine at events with 50 or more people at city-owned locations. San Jose City Hall, libraries, museums, and performing arts theaters are included. A negative COVID-19 test as an alternative will not be accepted in most cases.
"We don't want to have testing to continue to be a fallback, we want people vaccinated," said San Jose City District 4 Councilmember David Cohen. Cohen says COVID-19 tests aren't always accurate and would slow things down at a time when vaccines are widely available.
"Somewhere north of 80 percent of our residents in San Jose have been vaccinated, so certainly it's a minority of people choosing not to be vaccinated," Cohen said.
College students we talked with though, who are vaccinated, fear that this may leave some people out as exemptions can vary by event.
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"I think it's not ill intentioned but it may not be very considerate for those who are immunocompromised or those who can't get the vaccine so I agree maybe it's a little bit overboard," said San Jose State University student Katia Kaswer.
Dr. Chin-Hong said the virus is still out there and vaccine mandates at these type of locations, along with masks mandates, will separate our numbers from other areas that don't have those rules but do have similar vaccination rates.
"Indoor settings in particular are 20 time riskier than outdoor settings so you never know who you're going to be next to in terms of mixing of households the higher the number of people in that setting, the higher the risk," Dr. Chin-Hong said.
Here is what the City of San Jose says about exemptions that may apply for some of these large events:
Religious and Medical exemption details:
- Medical and religious exemptions are allowed (unless the Operator chooses to have more stringent requirements).
- Medical exemptions must be in writing, include the person's name, and be signed by a medical professional.
- Religious exemptions must also be in writing with the person's name. In order to be admitted to an event with a medical or religious exemption, a person must also have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the event.
What type of negative COVID test is acceptable?
As noted above, unless the Operator chooses to have more stringent requirements, unvaccinated attendees who wish to use a performer, medical or religious exemption must also have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of the event. CDPH (California Department of Public Health) recommends a point of care test (antigen or molecular) within 24 hours of entry in asymptomatic individuals. If point of care testing is not available, CDPH recommends a molecular test of asymptomatic individuals within 72 hours of the event with results available before entry. The following documents can be used as proof of a negative COVID test result: A printed document from the test provider or laboratory, or an electronic test result displayed on a phone or other device from the test provider or laboratory; the information should include the person's name, type of test performed and negative test result.
Further information on COVID testing for entry to events can be found at the California Department of Public Health's website.
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