California orders vaccination of healthcare workers by Sept. 30

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Citing increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients because of the delta variant, the California Department of Public Health issued an order Aug. 5 requiring workers in healthcare to be vaccinated.

This order requires these workers to be fully vaccinated or receive their second shot by Sept. 30.

"As we continue to see an increase in cases and hospitalizations due to the delta variant of COVID-19, it's important that we protect the vulnerable patients in these settings," said Tomás J. Aragón, MD, director of the public health department and state public health officer, said in a news release. "Today's action will also ensure that healthcare workers themselves are protected. Vaccines are how we end this pandemic."

The order applies to workers in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers and in most other healthcare settings. Workers may be exempt from the vaccination requirement if they are granted an exemption for religious beliefs or qualifying medical reasons. Unvaccinated exempt workers must meet testing and safety requirements.

The California health department also issued an order Aug. 5 directing hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities to verify that visitors are fully vaccinated, or to verify documentation of a negative coronavirus test for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated visitors.

Both orders come after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced July 26 that state government and workers in healthcare and high-risk congregate settings would be required to show proof of full vaccination or be tested at least once weekly.

Read more about the orders here

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