Californian Health Care Workers Subjected To Expanded Vaccine Mandate

Californian Governor Gavin Newsom had issued a mandate to increase vaccination rates for State Workers and Health Care Workers.

The State Workers almost dismissed it flippantly with its meager rates, but the mandate was much more stringent for Health Care workers due to their proximity to those most affected by the virus.

According to California Legislative Information, this mandate was in effect since August 5, 2021, and expected full compliance on September 30 of the same year.

There have been a total of 9,371 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks and 113,196 outbreak-related cases that the CDPH knows of between January 1, 2021, to July 12, 2021.

This is despite the increasing focus on vaccination. Many of these cases have been traced back to unvaccinated Health Care Workers.

Health Care Workers, WPCS providers, and hospices who serve in-home are all required to be vaccinated. After all, they are often dealing with the sickly or elderly who are very vulnerable to COVID-19. They are expected to be fully vaccinated on or before November 30, 2021. 

Workers Covered

According to SHRM, the mandate covers those explicitly affected. These are all in exception to recipients who live with the worker, such as being family.

  • (1) Those that work in the service of adult or elderly care licensed by the California Department of Social Services;
  • (2) In-home direct care services workers—registered home care aides and certified home health aides;
  • (3) WPCS providers;
  • (4) all hospice workers providing in-home care;
  • (5) all regional center employees, including service provider workers.

Exceptions For Workers

However, the exceptions are to those that work in-home, WPCS, and hospice workers that only yield services to one household. Health Care Workers that manage several households are not exempt from vaccination. However, those that are religiously opposed to it can ask to be exempted from it, as well as those with health issues of their own that could conflict with vaccination, though that can be seen with scrutiny. In this case, the workers must provide a declination to their employer form signed by the worker.

If workers are exempted from the vaccine by their religion or health, they must cooperate with weekly COVID tests with PCR or antigen. They must also wear a surgical mask or higher-level respirator, such as an N95 filtering facepiece respirator, when in a facility or providing service in-home.