California announced Thursday that health care will be required to show proof of full vaccination by September 30.

The California Public Health order comes a week after the state said it would require either proof of vaccination, or negative COVID-19 test from state employees and employees from several healthcare providers.

Thursday’s order will apply to all healthcare workers and removes the option of submitting a negative COVID-19 test.

“Hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and the other health care facility types identified in this order are particularly high-risk settings where COVID-19 outbreaks can have severe consequences for vulnerable populations including hospitalization, severe illness, and death,” Director and State Public Health Officer Tomás J. Aragón said. “There is frequent exposure to staff and highly vulnerable patients, including elderly, chronically ill, critically ill, medically fragile, and disabled patients. In many of these settings, the patients are at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease due to underlying health conditions, advanced age, or both.”

Health care workers in the following sectors will have to show proof of taking either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (including Subacute Facilities)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities
  • Acute Psychiatric Hospitals
  • Adult Day Health Care Centers
  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and PACE Centers
  • Ambulatory Surgery Centers
  • Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospitals
  • Clinics & Doctor Offices (including behavioral health, surgical)
  • Congregate Living Health Facilities
  • Dialysis Centers
  • Hospice Facilities
  • Pediatric Day Health and Respite Care Facilities
  • Residential Substance Use Treatment and Mental Health Treatment Facilities

As of now, there have been no changes to last week’s order for state employees, as they are being asked to show proof of vaccination or provide weekly negative COVID-19 tests.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said 246,000 state employees will be affected by the mandate, saying the state must “lead by example.”

“We’re exhausted by the Ron Johnsons and the Tucker Carlsons and Marjorie Taylor-Greenes, we’re exhausted by the right-wing echo chamber who has been perpetuating misinformation around the vaccine and its efficacy and safety,” Newsom added. “I want to applaud, particularly Republican leaders who have had the courage to call that out and I hope more and more will do the same.”

Religious and medical exemptions will be given to workers, with the order stating a qualifying medical exemption meaning, “The worker must also provide to their employer a written statement signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or other licensed medical professional practicing under the license of a physician stating that the individual qualifies for the exemption (but the statement should not describe the underlying medical condition or disability) and indicating the probable duration of the worker’s inability to receive the vaccine (or if the duration is unknown or permanent, so indicate).”

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