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The Bay Area: New Requirements & Wildfires

Posted by Julian Torres, "JT" on Sep 23, 2021 4:33:44 PM


New rule changes regarding proof of vaccinations or weekly testing go into effect in two counties, several airports have updated their travel policies to answer the pandemic infection spikes, and wildfire season could lead to changes in future football seasons.

1. New Vaccination/Testing Requirements 

ABC News 7 reported all Marin County first responders will be required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 as of September 15. First responders not fully vaccinated will be required to get weekly testing. 

The September 15 order applies to law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel, as well as any related staff involved in emergency calls at high-risk settings, including hospitals, jails, nursing homes, and congregate care facilities.

Meanwhile in Contra Costa County, a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for local businesses has been scheduled to go into effect as of September 22. The rule will require customers to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter restaurants, gyms, and other indoor businesses. 

According to ABC News 7, county officials plan to implement the new requirement in response to the high daily infection rates currently being recorded. An unofficial list of business that will fall under this new requirement will also include bars and entertainment venues and fitness facilities. Employees of these businesses will have to show proof of full vaccination by November 1 or test each week for COVID-19.

2. Airport Flying Policies

According to the San Francisco Examiner, all inbound travelers visiting the San Francisco International Airport will be required to have a negative test prior to boarding. 

SFO currently has multiple testing sites in place at the airport, and the result times can vary from 15 minutes to three days. Appointments are recommended by SFO staff but have not become a requirement, as of September 15. Walk-ins may be accepted if the individual arrives before 4 p.m. A valid boarding pass or airline reservation will also be required.

The San Francisco Examiner also reported the Oakland International Airport currently employs two testing sites, one curbside and the other at North Field on Earhart Road. Likewise, the Mineta San Jose International Airport has also been working with pre-approved testing services for Hawaii travelers who want to avoid the state’s quarantine if flying carriers Hawaiian, Alaska, and Southwest.

3. Challenges, Solutions for High School Sports

In addition to the pandemic, the ongoing wildfires continue to present challenges to the fall high school sports lineup.

The Mercury News reported the wildfires, which have been growing in intensity for several years, can start to impact air quality in the Bay Area around August and cause problems well into November. This has forced the prep sports community to find ways to mitigate the increasing overlap of what has become the high school sports and wildfire seasons.

Some of those solutions have included temporarily allowing games to be played on Sundays while Bay Area coaches have started considering options such as delaying the start of the season or cutting it short. The report clarified any changes considered would be required to go through a bureaucratic approval process, so the earliest any changes could take effect would be next season.


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