Certain California State Employees and Healthcare Workers Required to Receive Regular COVID-19 Testing if Not Fully Vaccinated

On July 26, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a new Order directed at certain California state employees and healthcare workers. The Order becomes effective on August 9, 2021, at 12:01 am, and facilities must fully comply by August 23, 2021.

This Order applies to the following facilities:

  • Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings (General Acute Care Hospitals; Skilled Nursing Facilities, including Subacute Facilities; and Intermediate Care Facilities),
  • High-Risk Congregate Settings (Adult and Senior Care Facilities, Homeless Shelters, and State and Local Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers), and
  • Other Health Care Settings (Acute Psychiatric Hospitals; Adult Day Health Care Centers; Adult Day Programs Licensed by the California Department of Social Services; Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and PACE Centers; Ambulatory Surgery Centers; Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospitals; Clinics & Doctor Offices, including behavioral health, surgical; Congregate Living Health Facilities; Dental Offices; Dialysis Centers; Hospice Facilities; Pediatric Day Health and Respite Care Facilities; and Residential Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Treatment Facilities).

The Order requires covered facilities to verify the vaccine status of all workers. Under the Order, “‘fully vaccinated’ means individuals who are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19: two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization), or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen).” The Order provides guidance on acceptable modes to prove vaccination status.

The Order further requires covered facilities to regularly test unvaccinated workers. Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care facilities must test unvaccinated workers at least twice weekly. Facilities identified as High-Risk Congregate Settings and Other Health Care Settings must test unvaccinated workers at least once weekly. The Order also specifies respirator or mask requirements for each facility.

Employers covered under this Order should prepare to fully comply by August 23, 2021. If you have questions about complying with this Order, please contact the California Legal Services team at CAInfo@employerscouncil.org.