California Extends Worker Vaccine Requirement to Protect Vulnerable Californians from COVID-19
Date: September 28, 2021
SACRAMENTO – To provide additional protections against COVID-19 for vulnerable individuals across the state, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today issued a public health order requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in adult and senior care facilities and those employed in in-home direct care settings. The order applies to all adult and senior care facilities, certain persons who provide In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), certified home care aides, and Waiver Personal Care Services (WPCS) providers, hospice workers who provide services in the home or a licensed facility, and all employees, as well as service provider workers, who provide services through the state's regional centers that serve individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
"We can and must continue to protect our most vulnerable communities from the ongoing threat of COVID-19," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "These care settings are home to Californians with complex medical conditions, all of whom are at high risk of having severe but preventable outcomes including hospitalization, severe illness, and death," said Dr. Aragon. "Increasing vaccination rates among those who are providing care will help curb the spread of COVID-19 in these high-risk settings."
California has reported 19,830 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the pandemic, and nearly 50% of those were reported in health care, congregate care, and direct care settings. Of these outbreaks, the most (22%) have occurred in adult and senior care facilities and in-home direct care settings and cases and outbreaks often include workers and unvaccinated individuals.
The new vaccine requirement mirrors the state's vaccine requirement for health care workers announced on August 5. Workers covered by today's order must have their first dose of a one-dose regimen or their second dose of a two-dose regimen by November 30, 2021.
California is leading the nation in vaccinations according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with more than 50.4 million doses administered and 83.8 percent of the eligible population having received at least one dose. However, in recent months the state has seen increasing numbers of individuals – overwhelmingly unvaccinated – contracting COVID-19 and being admitted to the hospital and ICU.
California remains committed to increasing vaccination rates and urges businesses and local communities to encourage individuals to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Unvaccinated Californians age 12 and up and individuals who are eligible for boosters can go to myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule an appointment or go to myturn.ca.gov/clinic to find a walk-in clinic in their county.