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Are You Recording This? How to Comply with the CA Vaccine Mandate in Dentistry

It’s another day at your California-based clinic, and your HR manager asks if you’re aware of the latest COVID-related mandate. They also want to know how you plan to address it with your team.

[TLDR] Prefer to watch a video about this? Head over to our latest webinar: COVID-19 August Update: FDA Approval, Vaccine Declination, & More.

Unfortunately, the rise in COVID variants means the California (CA) Vaccine Mandate isn’t hypothetical. Do you have an answer? More importantly, do you have a plan to keep your practice in compliance?

With the order taking effect on August 9th and full compliance required by August 23rd, there’s little time to put appropriate measures in place. This article will clarify the CA Vaccine Mandate and what it means for your office, whether you have a large dental practice or a smaller clinic.

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CA Vaccine Mandate: The Short Version

You’ve got a practice to run, patients to treat, and more to do than probably ever before due to COVID. Before we dive into the details of the CA Vaccine Mandate, here are the two main aspects of the new statewide policy:

  • California health care practices must verify that their employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Unvaccinated health care team members in California must be tested weekly for COVID-19.
Recommended Resource: Concerns about COVID compliance? Take our 5-Minute COVID Risk Assessment to see where you stand.

Now, for the details of this new vaccine mandate.

What the CA Vaccine Mandate Requires

The California Department of Public Health Order is a fairly long document that includes a lot of detail. What you need to know, however, is that the mandate is designed to increase vaccinations and safer practices in facilities that are at high risk for COVID-19 outbreaks. This is how the mandate breaks down:

Are You Recording This? How to Comply with the CA Vaccine Mandate

California health care employees must prove that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The obvious proof of vaccination is a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or a physical or digital photo of the card. Your team members can also provide vaccine documentation from a health care provider, a digital record with a scannable QR code, or vaccine documentation from other contracted employers.

According to the California Department of Health, fully vaccinated refers to your team members who have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or a single-docs vaccine (Johnson and Johnson) more than two weeks previous. As a dental practice, you are responsible for tracking the vaccination status of each team member. You should also be prepared to make these records available to the local health jurisdiction if they are requested.

Unvaccinated California health care employees must undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

Are You Recording This? How to Comply with the CA Vaccine Mandate

The requirements for unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated employees will depend on your office’s category.

  • Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings: Tested at least twice weekly with either PCR testing or antigen testing.
  • High-Risk Congregate Settings and Other Health Care Settings: Tested at least once weekly with either PCR testing or antigen testing.

    Recommended Resource: If an employee tests positive for COVID, here’s what you should do next.

Facilities that are covered

Are You Recording This? How to Comply with the CA Vaccine Mandate

Now that you know the requirements of the CA mandate, let’s talk about whether or not your office is affected. The order divides health care settings into three categories:

  • Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings
    •  General Acute Care Hospitals
    •  Skilled Nursing Facilities (including Subacute Facilities)
    •  Intermediate Care Facilities
  • High-Risk Congregate Settings
    •  Adult and Senior Care Facilities
    •  Homeless Shelters
    •  State and Local Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers
  • Other Health Care Settings
    •  Acute Psychiatric Hospitals
    •  Adult Day Health Care Centers
    •  Adult Day Programs Licensed by the California Department of Social Services
    •  Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and PACE Centers
    •  Ambulatory Surgery Centers
    •  Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospitals
    •  Clinics and Doctor Offices (including Behavioral Health, Surgical)
    •  Congregate Living Health Facilities
    •  Dental Offices
    •  Dialysis centers
    •  Hospice Facilities
    •  Pediatric Day Health and Respite Care Facilities
    •  Residential Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Treatment Facilities

To recap from the section above, all facilities in this list (which may include your dental practice) are responsible for tracking employee vaccination and testing unvaccinated employees. The only difference you need to pay attention to is the difference in testing frequency.

Recommended Resource: Reopening your practice but worried you’ll miss something critical? Our reopening roadmap will help you fully prepare for starting back up after COVID.

Important Dates

As mentioned at the start, the CA Vaccine Mandate takes effect on August 9th, 2021 and the date for full compliance is August 23rd. You’ll want to start making a plan with your team to record vaccination statuses and test unvaccinated and partially vaccinated team members.

Recommended Resource: Looking for more information on the 8/5 Vaccine Mandate? Check out our recent video explanation.


Keeping Up with the Latest on the Vaccine Mandate

Like everything else with COVID-19, this vaccine mandate was released to address the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in California, mainly because of the Delta variant. As a result, some details still need clarification, including how weekly COVID testing requirements will work and how they will be financed. We will keep this page updated as we receive new information, so be sure to check back regularly to keep your dental practice in compliance.

Still unclear on the vaccine mandate or other COVID policies? Have other HR questions or needs for your health care practice? HR for Health is ready to help. Schedule an HR Consultation with our team today, so we can help you address your most pressing human resource challenges.


About HR for Health 

HR for Health is an all-in-one HR software solution dedicated to helping the dental, optometry, and veterinary industries. Our human resources platform features all the tools practice owners need to manage payroll, timekeeping, 401(k), and more with total integration and ease. 

Whether you’re looking for HR support for a small business or you’re a large group dental practice, HR for Health has the solution to fit your practice and budget. Reach out to a HR for Health account representative to learn more, today: Schedule a Meeting