California to Require Health Care Worker Vaccination; Also Issues Order for Health Care Facility Indoor Visits

On Thursday, CDPH Director and State Health Officer, Dr. Tomás Aragón issued the first in the nation public health order requiring all health care workers be vaccinated in the state, allowing for medical and religious exemptions, by September 30.

Under this new state order, all employees who work or provide services in health care facilities (including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, doctor’s offices, and dialysis centers among others) must receive at least the first dose of their vaccine regimen by September 30. The order defines how workers may apply for religious or medical exemptions and for those workers with approved exemptions they must submit to PCR or antigen testing for COVID-19 either on a once a week or twice a week interval based on their health care setting and wear a surgical mask or higher-level approved respirator, approved by NIOSH, at all times in the facility.

The State Public Health Officer Order from Dr. Tomás Aragón is available here

In addition to health care worker requirements, Dr. Aragón also issued an State Public Health Officer Order requiring visitors to general acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and intermediate care facilities, when making indoor visits, to verify their full vaccination or to provide proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 test.