Judge: Certain California prison guards must be vaccinated

BAKERSFIELD (Calif.) -- Friday's ruling by a judge in California affirmed that all state prison guards working in or around health care facilities must be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Judge: Certain California prison guards must be vaccinated

BAKERSFIELD (Calif.) -- Friday's ruling by a judge in California affirmed that all state prison guards working in or around health care facilities must be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Kern County Superior Court Judge Bernard Barmann did not rule for all state prison guards, even those who work in other settings.

In August, the state Department of Public Health ordered that guards and other correctional staff in prison or jail were vaccinated.

Barmann stopped the state's order to the guards last week as he considered the arguments of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association in opposition to a vaccine mandate.

According to court documents online, the judge rejected the union's arguments and denied them a preliminary order against the mandate. His decision can be appealed by the union. On Friday, the Sacramento Bee reported Barmann’s decision.

"This is a very unfortunate situation. According to the newspaper's report, Barmann stated that we are all facing this pandemic worldwide that has gripped the world for over a year and half. "And California is taking steps towards addressing it. Unfortunately, in such circumstances, something must give."

A federal judge also ordered that the state mandate vaccinations for all prisoners and those who are incarcerated outside of prison. Governor Gavin Newsom, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and correctional officers' union are fighting against the federal order.

Officials are working to prevent another outbreak such as the one last year that claimed 28 lives and wounded a correctional officer at San Quentin State Prison.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, 261 people were incarcerated and 46 workers in the state prison system had died of COVID-19 as of Friday. According to the Sacramento Bee, 60% of state prison workers had been vaccinated as of Oct. 7.

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