California Mandates Boosters for Healthcare Workers: mandating booster shots for healthcare workers. Here are the facts:There is increasing evidence that vaccine protection wanes over time, but the good news is that vaccines and boosters are highly protective against hospitalization and death – even from the surging Omicron variant. California is now
- You are eligible for a booster shot 6 months after your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or 2 months after your Johnson & Johnson dose.
- Healthcare workers must receive a booster shot by February 1, 2022, or within 15 days of when you become eligible.
- If you received a medical or religious exemption, you are exempt from the booster requirement. If not, you must get it.
- If you have not gotten the booster (even if you are vaccinated), you are required to test twice weekly in acute care and skilled nursing settings, or once weekly in other settings.
- The booster and testing requirements do not apply to remote workers or those who work in an administrative building. However, public health officials urge everyone to protect themselves with the booster as soon as you are eligible.
At Kaiser, SEIU-UHW was able to secure 2 hours of paid time for booster shots and 8 hours of paid leave to recover from side effects that prevent you from working (with a physician’s note). We are demanding that other employers take these steps as well.California has issued its own guidance. Here are the highlights:Shorter Isolation/Quarantine Periods: Following the CDC’s loosening of guidelines for isolation and quarantine,
- Healthcare Workers with COVID-19: If you have had a booster shot or are vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster, you may return to work after 5 days with a negative diagnostic test (within 24 hours of return) or 10 days without a viral test. If you are unvaccinated, or booster eligible but not boosted, you may return to work after 7 days with a negative test or 10 days without a viral test.
- Asymptomatic Healthcare Workers with COVID Exposure: If you have had a booster shot, or are vaccinated but not yet eligible for a booster, you may return to work immediately with a negative diagnostic test or after 5-7 days without a test. If you are unvaccinated, or booster eligible but not boosted, you may return to work after 7 days with a negative diagnostic test (within 48 hours of return).
These guidelines should be seen as the minimum isolation/ quarantine time before employees can return to work. Please check your employer’s policy for specifics.find your legislator here).These state guidelines include loopholes for “critical staffing shortages” that we must monitor to ensure they are not abused and safety is prioritized. SEIU-UHW leaders are demanding all employers meet to discuss, update, and clarify policies around isolation and quarantine in light of the Omicron surge. COVID Leave? California’s COVID leave law expired in October, but SEIU-UHW is working with a coalition of unions to urge our legislature to renew it. There is a lot of support in the legislature, but also concerns about workforce shortages. Call your legislator today and tell them COVID leave is an urgently needed safety measure for frontline workers (