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COVID vaccination deadline arrives for California healthcare workers

healthcare jobs
Posted at 10:49 AM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 20:30:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Health care workers in the State of California have until Thursday to show proof they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or have filed for an exemption as mandated by the state.

The updated order came in August, when the state said it will mandate health care workers to be fully vaccinated, eliminating the option for a negative test. Hospital workers across the state have until Sept. 30 to be fully vaccinated under the state's mandate.

So far, Sharp Health Care says almost 92% of its total workforce are vaccinated, while 539 are still unvaccinated.

According to Scripps Health, 93% of its workforce have been vaccinated with about 140 employees who have not complied or received an exemption. That’s less than 1% of its workforce. Scripps added that 99% of affiliated physicians are vaccinated.

If not compliant by the end of the day, Scripps says unvaccinated employees will be fired. However, Scripps is willing to hire them back if they get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Other health systems in San Diego including Kaiser and Palomar Health are putting non-compliant employees on unpaid leave for a month or two before they face termination.

Tawny, who is a nurse that has worked for Rady Children’s Hospital for more than 12 years, says does not believe a vaccine mandate will keep patients and staff safe.

“Those of us who aren’t vaccinated are the safest people in the room," said the nurse.

"We are tested twice a week. We wear PPE. And so the other nurses who have decided to get the vaccine aren’t tested. And as we know those who have had the full series of vaccinations can still come down with the disease they can still be infected.”

Earlier this week, the State Health Department sent a letter out saying all workers in adult and senior safe facilities and in-home care services must also be vaccinated by the end of November.

The letter cites among the nearly 20,000 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in the state during this pandemic, 47% were connected to high risk settings such as adult and senior care facilities or in-home care services, where they say many cases have been traced back to those who are not vaccinated.