Covid update and staff vaccinations

On September 28 and according to Tomás J. Aragón, MD, DrPH, Director and State Public Health Officer, California Department of Public Health, California is still reporting over 21 new Covid-19 cases every day and less than 70% of Californians over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. The Delta variant is currently the most common variant causing new infections in California. Unvaccinated persons are more likely to get infected and spread the virus. Nearly 50% of recent cases were associated with the caring industry.

          On October 28, the state’s Covid-19 website reported 2.5% of Covid-19 tests are positive; 71,408 Californians have died from the virus—representing less than one-half of one percent per 100,000—and 80% of Californians are fully or partially vaccinated.

          In light of these statistics, Dr. Aragón has ordered all individuals who provide care services or work in adult and senior care facilities must be fully vaccinated by November 30, 2021. Also, all hospice workers providing services in facilities must be fully vaccinated.

          Vaccine exemptions include “religious beliefs” and signing a declination form, and for “qualifying medical reasons” with a written statement signed by a health care professional stating the worker has a qualified exemption. All unvaccinated workers must be tested weekly and wear a mask while in the workplace. The employer must keep proof workers have been vaccination or keep the exemption and negative test results. The records must be available to LPAs upon request.

          According to the Centers for Disease Control the following medical conditions can quality for exemption: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis), chronic lung diseases, dementia or other neurological conditions, diabetes (type 1 or type 2), Down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infection, immunocompromised state, mental health conditions i.e., depression and schizophrenia, obesity, pregnancy, Sickle cell disease or thalassemia, current and former smokers, solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, substance abusers and TB.

          The religions opposed to vaccinations was less than six making the religious exemption difficult to prove. The religions identified were not mainstream religions, and surprisingly, many mainstream religions thought to object to vaccinations do not have any doctrinal restraint upon receiving the vaccine.