Where healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccine rules stand in states now

Some states have lifted their COVID-19 vaccine requirements for workers at regulated healthcare facilities, while at least one other is considering doing so.

The changes follow the federal government's announcement regarding the end of the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for healthcare workers at CMS-certified healthcare facilities.   

In New York, the state department of health repealed its requirement in May. The repeal ends a rule for workers in hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities and other congregate care settings that was implemented in August 2021 by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Some health systems in the state, including Rochester (N.Y.) Regional Health, Rome (N.Y.) Health and Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph's Health, have removed their respective vaccine requirements in the wake of the state's repeal.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order in June lifting the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for healthcare workers.

In April, Mr. Murphy signed an executive order lifting COVID-19 testing requirements for healthcare and congregate settings. The executive order he signed June 12 lifts the remaining requirement that healthcare settings maintain a policy requiring employees to provide proof that they are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

And the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is proposing that the state remove the COVID-19 vaccine from its list of required shots for healthcare workers, the Portland Press Herald reported July 11. 

"Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine has followed the science in developing policies to limit the spread of the virus," DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, PhD, said in a statement July 11, according to the newspaper. "Today, a robust body of evolving evidence tells us that this requirement achieved its goals of saving lives and protecting health at a crucial time. We continue to encourage all Maine people, including dedicated healthcare workers tending to Maine's most vulnerable residents, to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccination."

Maine's rule for healthcare workers took effect in 2021.


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