State Requires COVID-19 Vaccine for Adult and Direct Care Workers

State Requires COVID-19 Vaccine for Adult and Direct Care Workers title=
State Requires COVID-19 Vaccine for Adult and Direct Care Workers
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By edhat staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring COVID-19 vaccination for adult care facilities and direct care workers.

An announcement was made on Tuesday, stating that anyone who works in Adult and Senior Care Facilities, in-home direct care services, and hospice services must have the first dose of a one-dose regimen or the second dose of a two-dose regimen by November 30, 2021. Workers may be exempt from the vaccination requirements based on Religious Beliefs or Qualifying Medical Reasons. 

Currently, 69.34% of Californians 12 years of age and older are fully vaccinated with an additional 8.26% that are partially vaccinated. California continues to experience high-levels COVID-19 cases with 21.1 new cases per 100,000 people per day, with case rates currently tenfold higher as compared to June 2, 2021.

Unvaccinated persons are more likely to get infected and spread the virus, which is transmitted through the air. Most current hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated persons leaving California's hospital and health care delivery system strained, the statement reads.

"Additional statewide directed measures are necessary to protect particularly vulnerable populations, and ensure a sufficient, consistent supply of workers in high-risk care settings," wrote Director and State Public Health Officer Tomás J. Aragón, MD, DrPH in the statewide announcement, "These measures can improve vaccination rates in these settings, which ensures that both the individuals being served as well as the workers providing the services, are protected from COVID-19."

Adult and senior care facilities and settings where direct care and services are provided are high-risk settings where COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks have severe consequences for vulnerable populations resulting in hospitalization, severe illness, and death. Additionally, these settings include frequent contact between staff or workers and highly vulnerable individuals often with underlying health conditions.

Among 19,830 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the pandemic, 47% were associated with the health care, congregate care, and direct care sector. The top industry settings are adult and senior care facilities and in-home direct care settings (22%) where increasing numbers of workers are among the new positive cases and recent outbreaks in these types of settings have frequently been traced to unvaccinated individuals.

"Vaccination against COVID-19 is the most effective means of preventing infection with the COVID-19 virus, and subsequent transmission and outbreaks. As we respond to the ongoing pandemic, all workers in adult and senior care facilities and in-home direct care settings must be vaccinated to reduce the chance of transmission to vulnerable populations," wrote Dr. Aragón.

The full announcement can be read here.

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