Monday, October 18, 2021

September 30 deadline for healthcare workers to be vaccinated

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A deadline is looming this week for healthcare professionals. According to a state order: All workers who provide services or work in healthcare facilities must have their first dose of a one-dose regimen or their second dose of a two-dose regimen by Sept. 30. The chief executive officers of the three local health care districts are working to ensure their employees comply with the state mandate. Doug McCoy of Eastern Plumas Health Care, Jo Dee Read of Plumas District Hospital, and Shawn McKenzie of Seneca Healthcare District, didn’t share specific numbers but said most of their employees are meeting the state guidelines — to be vaccinated or to provide medical or religious exemptions. None anticipate staffing shortages because of the requirement.

Advertisement Details of the state order follow:

When asked if there would be repercussions for not meeting the state guidelines — such as employees losing their jobs — the CEOs declined to be specific, but emphasized that they were working with employees to be compliant. All workers who provide services or work in healthcare facilities must have their first dose of a one-dose regimen or their second dose of a two-dose regimen by September 30, 2021:

That’s the juggling act that the hospital leaders face. In some professions, the option of frequent testing exists, but that option isn’t available to healthcare workers. Seneca issued the following statement: “Our staff has diligently been working to confirm that our facility is in full compliance with the order. As per CDPH guidelines, Seneca will continue to keep records of vaccination status or test results for employees. As a healthcare organization, we realize the value of a vaccinated community.  We also recognize the value of an individual’s sincerely held beliefs as a construct of both our constitution and the inalienable rights of each person.”

Healthcare facilities include the following:General acute care hospitalsSkilled nursing facilities (including subacute facilities)Intermediate care facilitiesAcute psychiatric hospitalsAdult day health care centersProgram of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and PACE CentersAmbulatory surgery centersChemical dependency recovery hospitalsClinics and doctor offices (including behavioral health, surgical)Congregate living health facilitiesDialysis centersHospice facilitiesPediatric day health and respite care facilitiesResidential substance use treatment and mental health treatment facilities Advertisement

Workers include, but are not limited to, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health care facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the health care setting (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel). Workers may be exempt from the vaccination requirements only upon providing the operator of the facility a declination form, signed by the individual stating either of the following: the worker is declining vaccination based on religious beliefs, or the worker is excused from receiving any COVID-19 vaccine due to qualifying medical reasons. A “worker” refers to all paid and unpaid individuals who work in indoor settings where care is provided to patients, or patients have access for any purpose. This includes workers serving in health care or other health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or SARS-CoV-2 airborne aerosols.

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