Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement that all California health care workers will need to be vaccinated by Sept. 30, the California Hospital Association (CHA) released a statement in support of the mandate on behalf of state hospitals.
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Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of CHA, said:
“Governor Newsom’s call today for a vaccine mandate for every California health care worker is an important step in the long battle we face against COVID-19 and the multiple variants that have emerged over the past several months. It’s vital that we do all we can to protect vulnerable patients and those who care for them from this deadly virus.”
She highlighted the importance of protecting health care workers, who, having been on the front lines throughout the pandemic, pose a threat to themselves, their coworkers, and their patients if they aren’t vaccinated.
“Nearly 18 months after California declared a state of emergency for COVID-19, we are once again on a dangerous precipice that demands both our fortitude and our goodwill to protect loved ones and neighbors. California’s health care workers are being called upon – as they have through every step of this pandemic – to lead the charge in the battle between vaccine and variant. We are grateful for their commitment to patients, to public health, and to protecting themselves so they can continue to care for all in need.”
Thursday’s mandate tightened a previous announcement from Newsom, which required state employees and health care workers to either show proof of vaccination or get tested at least once per week.
He announced the most recent restrictions via Twitter on Thursday.
NEW: California will now require workers in healthcare settings to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 30th.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) August 5, 2021
Health care workers can exempt themselves from the mandate if they have a religious exemption or qualified medical excuse.
California COVID cases have steadily increased in the last month, rising from their lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic to high levels not seen since February 2021. 53% of Californians were fully vaccinated as of August 6. A CalMatters analysis of recent federal data shows that approximately 23% of nearly 500,000 hospital workers in over 350 state hospitals hadn’t received a single vaccine dose as of July 23.