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California to require COVID-19 vaccine or test for teachers

FILE - In this July 26, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom appears at a news conference in Oakland, Calif. The Orange County Board of Education in Southern California announced plans to sue Newsom over a state mandate requiring K-12 students to wear masks in classrooms. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new policy Wednesday as he visited a San Francisco Bay Area school that has already reopened after summer break. Many California schools are back in session, with others starting in the coming weeks.

Several large school districts in the state have issued similar requirements in recent days, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and the Long Beach Unified school districts.