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New CDPH Testing and PPE Requirements for Unvaccinated Health Care Workers

Originally recorded July 30, 2021

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On July 26, Gov. Newsom announced new measures to encourage state workers and health care workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This includes a new state public health officer order that requires health care and congregate settings, including hospitals, to ensure that unvaccinated personnel undergo at least weekly COVID-19 testing and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).  

The new health order will impact hospital operations in several areas. CHA will hold a special webinar to help members understand the requirements of the new health order and what they need to do to comply. Highlights of health order include the following:

  • Vaccine verification: Verification of vaccination status of workers in hospitals and other facilities that care for vulnerable individuals.
  • Testing: At least twice weekly testing for unvaccinated workers in general acute care hospitals (GACHs) and at least weekly testing for unvaccinated workers in acute psychiatric hospitals (APHs). Testing can be antigen or PCR.
  • PPE: In addition to complying with the Cal/OSHA aerosol transmissible disease standard, provide N95 or other respirator for unvaccinated workers in patient care areas and in areas where patients have access in GACHs; these workers are strongly encouraged to wear them. Provide surgical masks in APHs; these unvaccinated workers are required to wear them in indoor work settings.

Deadline: Health care facilities will have until Aug. 23 to come into compliance.

Still to Come: CHA also expects that CDPH will replace All-Facilities Letter (AFL) 20-88.1 on COVID-19 testing with a new forthcoming AFL in light of this health order.

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