CDPH Updates Quarantine Guidance for Health Care Personnel
Today, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated guidance on quarantine for health care personnel (HCP). All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-08.2 aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) March 10 quarantine and work exclusion guidance for HCP in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Both the CDPH AFL and CDC guidance now recommend that:
- Fully vaccinated HCP (i.e., ≥two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or ≥two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine) with higher-risk exposures who are asymptomatic do not need to be restricted from work for 14 days following their exposure. Previously, both the CDC and CDPH recommended this be limited to when the individual was within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series.
- Work restrictions for fully vaccinated HCP populations with higher-risk exposures should still be considered for those who have underlying immunocompromising conditions (e.g., organ transplantation, cancer treatment) that might impact level of protection provided by the COVID-19 vaccine. Restrictions should also be considered for fully vaccinated HCP who have traveled (excluding essential work-related travel) when quarantine and work restrictions would apply to any traveler. Previously, the CDC and CDPH did not specifically mention these situations.
Governor Signs COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Bill
On March 19, Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 95, the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave bill. As a budget trailer bill, it goes into effect immediately, but employers have until March 29 to come into compliance. The law requires employers with more than 25 employees to provide paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021. While some aspects of the law are identical to the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave law that expired on Dec. 31, 2020, there are some significant differences. See the CHA website for more details.
ICYMI: CDPH Recommends Discontinuation of Bamlanivimab Monotherapy
On March 19, CDPH issued a Health Alert recommending that facilities and providers stop distributing and administering bamlanivimab monotherapy, based on concerns about its use in regions where certain variants of the COVID-19 SARS virus are circulating. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has stopped distribution of this product to California.
The recommendation applies only to bamlanivimab monotherapy. The other two authorized monoclonal antibody products for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 — bamlanivimab plus etesevimab, and casirivimab plus imdevimab — will continue to be available.
ICYMI: CDPH Updates Hospital Visitor Guidelines
Effective today, CDPH recommends an increase from one to two visitors per patient at a time in hospitals located in counties in the red, orange, and yellow tiers. In addition, CDPH recommends an increase from one visitor to two for certain patient types (pediatric, labor and delivery, end-of-life, physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities and cognitive impairments) in all counties, regardless of tier status.
These are recommendations, not requirements. However, hospitals may want to assess their visitor guidelines in light of these updated recommendations. For more details, see AFL 20-38.6.
CDPH Monitors Vaccine Misinformation
CDPH has established a trust and safety team to help ensure the public has accurate and timely information about COVID-19 vaccination. The department asks that anyone who sees or hears of any vaccine-related rumors across social media or in their communities share them with the trust and safety team at Rumors@cdph.ca.gov for awareness and possible action.
Next CDPH Office Hours: March 26
CDPH will hold a COVID-19 Vaccination Office Hours webinar for hospitals on March 26 from 9 to 10 a.m. (PT). To participate, visit this link.
Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: March 30, 8-9 a.m. (PT)
Dial: (844) 721-7239
Here are some recent news stories on the vaccines:
- Washington Post: Becerra says government must reach people where they are to surmount vaccine inequities
- California Healthline: In America, Covid Vaccine Eligibility Is a ‘Crazy Quilt’ of State Rules
- New York Times: U.S. Health Officials Question AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Results