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20 Oct

October 2021: California Issues More Expansive Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate

Posted at

5:26pm

in

Update Applicable to:

Employers in California with employees in covered health care environments.

What happened?

On September 28, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an expansion to the vaccine mandate for health care workers.

What are the details?

The new mandate extends the date covered healthcare workers must be vaccinated to November 30, 2021, which was originally September 30, 2021. The mandate additionally includes adult care facilities and direct care workers.

The following workers are covered by the order:

  • All workers who provide services or work in adult and senior care facilities licensed by the California Department of Social Services.
  • All in-home direct care services workers, including registered home care aides and certified home health aides, except for those workers who only provide services to a recipient with whom they live or who are a family member of the recipient for whom they provide services.
  • All waiver personal care services (WPCS) providers, as defined by the California Department of Health Care Services, and in-home supportive services (IHSS) providers, as defined by the California Department of Social Services, except for those workers who only provide services to a recipient with whom they live or who are a family member of the recipient for whom they provide services.
  • All hospice workers who are providing services in the home or a licensed facility.
  • All regional center employees, as well as service provider workers, who provide services to a consumer through the network of Regional Centers serving individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, except for those workers who only provide services to a recipient with whom they live or who are a family member of the recipient for whom they provide services.

If a worker is exempted from the vaccination requirements, either due to religious beliefs or qualifying medical reasons, the worker must comply with the following requirements:

  • Test for COVID-19 with either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen test once weekly; and
  • Wear a surgical mask or higher-level respirator, such as an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, at all times while in the facility or at home.

The mandate states that employers of covered workers will be required to maintain records of workers’ vaccination or exemption status. Employers must also keep records regarding worker testing for those employees who are exempt from vaccination. These records must be kept confidential pursuant to applicable privacy laws and regulations.

For more information, please see the links below:

CDPH Mandate

Article

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the updated CDPH mandate and their current vaccination policies to make applicable updates and stay in compliance with the new mandate’s guidelines.

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