Published Date: 2021-08-06
CDPH orders vaccine mandate for public and private sector health care workers
Employees must be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021
Tomás J. Aragón, MD, DrPH, the Director and State Public Health Officer, issued an order yesterday, August 5, 2021, that requires health care facility workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 30, 2021. The previous COVID-19 weekly testing alternative for unvaccinated employees is being replaced by a vaccine mandate, effective 9/30/21. Health care facility workers must be vaccinated as a condition of their continued employment.
California is the first state to issue a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for workers employed in health care settings. "California is currently experiencing the fastest increase in COVID-19 cases during the entire pandemic with 18.3 new cases per 100,000 people per day, with case rates increasing ninefold within two months," the Order states. Furthermore, recent data suggest that the Delta variant causes more severe illness and is highly contagious, with a viral load 1000 times stronger than the original strain.
Health care facilities are cited in the order as "high-risk settings where COVID-19 outbreaks can have severe consequences for vulnerable populations including hospitalization, severe illness, and death." The order also states that, despite being given vaccine priority, more and more health care workers are among the newly reported positive cases and that recent outbreaks in health care settings are often "traced back to unvaccinated staff." Consequently, the CDPH is ordering a vaccine mandate as a public health measure to prevent further infection, subsequent transmission, and outbreaks among vulnerable populations.
Employees may refuse vaccination for either a Religious Belief or for a Qualifying Medical Reason(s). To receive a vaccine exemption, you must file a signed declination form with the facility operator that states the reason for your declination. Medical exemptions must be substantiated with a written statement signed by a physician or other licensed medical professional. A medical exemption shall indicate probable duration, whether specific, unknown, or permanent. The medical statement does not need to specify or include the medical condition or disability. Vaccine-exempt employees will be required to undergo twice-weekly testing and masking.
If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact your local chapter.
August 6, 2021 | Download Flier