California hospitals will allow indoor visitation so long as the visitors are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test.

The temporary State Public Health Officer Order was given out Thursday and will take effect starting Wednesday, August 11, affecting general acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and intermediate care facilities (ICF).

“COVID-19 remains a concern to public health and, in order to prevent its further spread in hospitals, SNFs, and ICFs, the following limited and temporary public health requirements are necessary at this time,” State Public Health Officer, Tomas J. Aragon wrote in the order. “While there is currently a significant increase in the community transmission of COVID-19 in California, vaccination against COVID-19 is the most effective means of preventing further infections, transmission, and outbreaks.”

Valid forms of vaccination proof include the record cards given during the vaccination, a photo copy or mobile version of the vaccination record card, vaccine documentation provided by a health care provider, or a readable QR code that displays the patient name, date of birth, date of vaccinations and vaccine types.

Visitors presenting a negative COVID-19 test must have taken the test within 72 hours of the visit and the test should be authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.

On Thursday, California also mandated that all health care employees be fully vaccinated by September 30. Medical and religious exemptions will be accepted, but all others must be in full compliance by the start of October.

The state said 63% of Californians ages 12 and up have been fully vaccinated with 10% being partially vaccinated.

The COVID-19 transmission rate is currently the highest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic, with a daily average of 18 new cases being recorded per 100,000 California residents. The state believes this is due to the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus which has shown to spread more quickly than most other variants.

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