State Expands Categories of Essential Workers Eligible for Vaccine

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Public transit workers, utility workers, foster parents, social workers, those who serve the homeless, airport workers, and janitors are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in San Bernardino County and throughout the state.

“These dedicated, hard-working people have put themselves at risk throughout the pandemic keeping our society functioning and moving forward,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “The County is very pleased that the State has added them to the vaccine eligibility list.” 

Thursday afternoon, the State of California updated its list of essential workers in the Vaccination Roadmap Phase 1A and Phase 1B categories. Under the new guidelines, “emergency service” workers will now include:

  • Utility workers (electricity, gas, water and waste water, solid waste, roads/highways),
  • Disaster Service Workers (DSWs) if they are at risk of occupational exposure once activated for emergency response, including those working in temporary non-congregate shelters,
  • Social workers who respond to the abuse and neglect of children, elders and dependent adults; including all front-line social workers and staff required to enter the homes of individuals at risk.

Public transit employees, airport workers, homeless shelter workers, and janitors in non-emergency settings were also added by the State, and foster parents were included as part of childcare worker eligibility.

As previously reported, persons age 16-64 with serious underlying medical conditions or disabilities become eligible for vaccination on Monday, March 15, joining frontline health care workers, long-term care residents, teachers and school support staff, and food and agriculture workers.

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