SAN DIEGO — San Diego may be moving out of a state of emergency and along with that, ending the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
City Council will vote on the proposal Tuesday, which was made by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, City Attorney Mara Elliott and City Councilmember Marni Von Wilpert.
A joint statement reads in part:
“Consistent with the state of California’s decision to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency effective Feb. 28, 2023, the city of San Diego will look to take similar action as the conditions requiring a local emergency declaration have steadily improved. As part of this action, we will also sunset our vaccine mandate for city employees due to a decrease in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations, and 91 percent of city employees having been vaccinated.”
“After all our emergencies have timed ending dates? No, no they don’t. And in fact, this state of emergency is long past due,” said Amy Reichert, co-founder of ReOpen San Diego.
Reichert has an ongoing lawsuit against the city over the vaccine mandate. The city did not provide comment on the pending litigation, but Reichert hinted at resolution coming soon.
“Yes, we filed the federal lawsuit, yes we are about to be victorious, and yes the vaccine mandate is going to end. But here’s the thing, we want to make sure that this never, ever happens again,” Reichert said.
The state of emergency allowed the city to receive state, county and federal funds to respond more quickly to the crisis. The city tells FOX 5 the total relief funding received was more than $600 million.
If council votes to end the state of emergency, members of council and their committees will no longer have the option of virtual meetings, but the public will still have the hybrid option.
The city’s eviction moratorium is set to end 60 days after the state of emergency ends.
Fourteen employees were fired for noncompliance with the vaccine mandate, but the city did not have record of how many employees chose to leave before termination.
City council will vote on these proposals at Tuesday’s meeting which begins at 10 a.m.