Health care workers in California can take a breath of fresh air. The California Department of Public Health announced that the statewide Covid-19 related mask mandates will expire on April 3, 2023.
While the Covid-19 Emergency Proclamation was lifted effective March 1, 2023, along with related executive orders, the Department of Health had maintained mask mandates for certain health care workers in settings at high risk for Covid-19 transmission, such as adult or direct care facilities, correctional facilities, hospitals and emergency homeless shelters.
That will all change soon. The Department will be replacing the current mask mandate with a new Guidance for the Use of Face Masks to take effect April 3, 2023. At that time, California will no longer require health care workers to mask even if they work in high risk settings. Instead, the California Department of Public Health is replacing former mask mandates for health care workers with non-mandatory guidance and recommendations including the recommendation that “health care facilities and other high risk operators should develop and implement their own facility-specific plans based on their community, patient population, and other facility considerations incorporating CDPH and CDC recommendations.”
Also starting April 3rd, California health care workers in high risk settings will no longer be required by the State to vaccinate against Covid-19. However, federal law may still require staff vaccinations at Medicare and Medicaid certified providers, and employers may still require their employees to vaccinate in certain circumstances.
The Department of Public Health’s new Guidance can be found here.
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