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Wasco asking visitors to City Hall to declare vaccination status

The City of Wasco has put out a Vaccination Declaration asking residents to inform the city of vaccination status when they visit City Hall.

“We will also have one for city employees,” City Clerk Maria Martinez said Wednesday. “It’s just part of the regulation that the CDC sent out and also OSHA with indoor settings.”

There are different statuses that you can check on the form, including fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, not yet vaccinated, and decline to answer. On the form, the city states if the resident declines to answer, you will be assumed not vaccinated for purposes and rules that are different from fully vaccinated or unvaccinated persons.

Some residents are objecting to this action.

“I don’t feel that the city has a right to have us turn this form in. It seems that this is a privacy issue and it just seems wrong,” said Manuel Vallardes, who said that he was not going to fill out the form. “You might as well put a big red letter on your chest, branding you like in the Scarlet Letter, it is not right.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom opened California on June 15, relieving its residents of the majority of the restrictions that were in place, except for certain situations, including large mega-events with over 5,000 people in attendance.

Restaurants, bars, gyms, and other businesses that were restricted in their operations are now fully open, allowing indoor dining for everyone.

According to Public Health Department guidelines, those residents who have been fully vaccinated do not have to wear a face covering while around town or shopping in stores.

Medical experts are keeping an eye on the new case rates in the days and weeks after the opening, making sure that the action does not result in another outbreak.

Many local residents are relieved by the action, enjoying being able to walk around town and go into stores without the face coverings.

“I understand the need for the masks, but I really had trouble wearing them for a prolonged period of time,” said Shafter resident Mary Talford, who was shopping with her two children. “I got vaccinated and am really excited for the city getting back to normal.”

The majority of restaurants in Shafter, including La Fonda on Central Avenue, are still practicing social distancing protocols, leaving a distance between diners with a table separating them. The city buildings are open without restrictions for those who have been vaccinated.


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