California's vaccination mandate for health care workers is now the most strict in the Nation.
In response to increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations due to the highly contagious Delta variant, the California Department of Public Health announced Thursday healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated by September 30 and most intermediate care facilities will need to verify that visitors are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours prior to indoor visits.
Valley Vista Residential Care administrator, Evelyn Strumpe, said her employees willingly got the shot because they provide care for a vulnerable age group.
“Everyone just did it. It was for their own safety and the safety of the residents as well,” said Strumpe.
However, the vaccine requirement for healthcare workers only allows for religious or rare medical exemptions.
Dr. Brian Roberts, MedStop Urgent Care Medical Director, said: “All of our employees have been fully vaccinated with the exception of one, that employee has some significant health issues that limit their ability to get vaccinated.”
With this announcement, The Villages Retirement Homes said there are new rules for visitors.
“Visitors at our assisted living communities are COVID screened and have their temperature taken at our reception desk. All visitors must wear a mask," said The Villages spokesperson in a statement.
Strumpe said prior to the state’s reopening, visitors would pay their family members a visit outdoors or through the window. Though she predicts most would still prefer indoor visits - even with the new protocols.
“We make it a point to check their temperature and they have to sign in and wear a mask,” said Strumpe.
These new orders from the California Department of Public Health go into effect next Wednesday.
At the last count, California has administered over 45 million vaccinations - with a recent uptick due to the Delta variant.