All workers in health-care facilities across California will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under a revised order issued Thursday by the state Department of Public Health.
The state had previously announced that workers in health-care settings had the option of either being vaccinated or undergoing weekly COVID-19 testing. The new order eliminates the testing option and mandates vaccinations.
“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,” Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH director and state public health officer, said in a statement. “Today’s action will also ensure that health care workers themselves are protected. Vaccines are how we end this pandemic.”
Under the order, all workers in health care settings must be fully vaccinated or receive their second dose of vaccine by Sept. 30. The state issued a companion order Thursday directing all hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities to verify that visitors are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID within 72 hours of an indoor visit.
Similar rules are expected to be issued later for visitors at long-term care facilities.