Last content update: 5/19/2022
Order Requiring Up-To-Date COVID-19 Vaccination of Personnel in Higher-Risk Settings (Updated March 8, 2022)
Vaccines remain the most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19. Nonetheless, COVID-19 is infecting a percentage of the vaccinated – who remain strongly protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Further, not all members of our community are vaccinated, and face coverings remain a critical tool in protecting our community against the spread of COVID-19. In Santa Clara County indoor masking will no longer be required beginning March 2, 2022 as noted in the Rescission of August 2, 2021 Health Order Requiring Use of Face Coverings Indoors By All Persons. However, the Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health strongly recommend that all persons continue to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.
The California Department of Public Health continues to require masking in higher-risk settings such as healthcare facilities, shelters, jails, and long-term care facilities. The California Department of Public Health also strongly recommends that individuals continue to wear a mask on public transit and in transportation hubs. For information on the State’s requirements, please see CDPH’s Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings and Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (“Cal/OSHA ETS”).
Overview of June 21, 2021 Order
UPDATE: On June 21, 2021, the County Health Officer issued a new order phasing out the Health Officer’s prior May 18, 2021 Order (“May 18 Order”). For most businesses and governmental entities, the previous restrictions are no longer necessary because the widespread vaccination of individuals in the county have provided important and effective protection against contracting COVID-19 and against severe COVID-19 illness. However, it remains critical that more people get vaccinated and that unvaccinated people continue to take appropriate safety measures. Therefore, while the June 21, 2021 Order (“June 21 Order”) rescinds the requirements of the May 18 Order for most businesses and governmental entities in the county, the following requirements remain in effect:
- Businesses and entities that have not completed at least two rounds of ascertainment of their personnel’s ascertainment status as required by Section 9(c) of the May 18 Order must continue to comply with the May 18 Order’s ascertainment requirements until they have completed two rounds of ascertainment.
- All businesses and entities must keep appropriate records to show that they have completed at least two rounds of ascertainment as required by Section 9(c) of the May 18 Order. Businesses and entities must keep these records for the duration of the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards imposed by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) and codified at Title 8 of Section 3205 et seq. of the California Code of Regulations.
The June 21 Order also requires individuals and entities to continue following applicable State public health orders, mandatory State guidance, and State laws related to COVID-19, including regulations from Cal/OSHA.
Importantly, the June 21 Order strongly recommends that all eligible individuals get vaccinated against COVID-19, as that is the best way to protect against infection, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19. The June 21 Order also makes the following additional recommendations:
- Businesses and entities should strongly encourage their personnel to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible, and should regularly request updated vaccination status information from those personnel who are not fully vaccinated;
- Businesses and entities should consider moving operations outdoors, where there is significantly less risk of COVID-19 transmission;
- Businesses and entities should prohibit all personnel who are not fully vaccinated from traveling for work to places where there are high rates of COVID-19, where there is wide circulation of variants of concern, or where community vaccination rates are below the average in the Bay Area.
- Businesses and entities should require all personnel who are not fully vaccinated to get tested regularly for COVID-19, consistent with local, state, and federal guidelines.
The new order also rescinds the May 13, 2020 Order of the Health Officer Directing Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities to Disclose Personal Protective Equipment Inventories. All other COVID-19 Health Orders that are currently still in effect are not rescinded or modified by the June 21 Order.
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