California to require boosters for healthcare workers

California will require that healthcare workers receive a COVID-19 booster, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

"As the omicron variant continues to spread, we're stepping up efforts to get more people boosted and keep Californians safe," Mr. Newsom tweeted Dec. 21.

The announcement — which came after California issued an order Aug. 5 requiring workers in healthcare settings to be fully vaccinated —  is part of new state actions amid a COVID-19 surge. 

New daily COVID-19 hospitalization rates in the U.S. have risen 11 percent in the last two weeks, with California seeing a 9 percent increase, according to data tracked by The New York Times

Under the state's new requirement, healthcare workers and all workers in high-risk congregate settings, including nursing homes, must receive their booster by Feb. 1. Meanwhile, healthcare workers that have not received their booster must test for COVID-19 twice weekly until they are up to date on their shots, Mr. Newsom said in a news release.

Regarding the new requirement, Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of San Diego-based Scripps Health, told Becker's: "It's clear to me that for maximum protection from omicron a booster is necessary to be fully vaccinated."

California is not the only state requiring boosters. On Dec. 2, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that many state workers —  including all in healthcare and congregate-care settings — must receive a booster dose by Jan. 17 or within four weeks of becoming eligible for one.

This article was updated Dec. 23. 

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