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DATE OF ORDER: December 23, 2021
Please read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor and may be punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120275, et seq.)
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SONOMA (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS:
- This Order of the Health Officer requires Employers of Law Enforcement, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacies, Dental Offices, and operators of Temporary Disaster Shelters in Sonoma County to require Personnel to get tested twice weekly for the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) or produce satisfactory evidence that they are Fully Updated against COVID-19.
- Effective Date and Time. This Order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on February 1, 2022.
- Basis for Order. This Order is made in light of the emergence in Sonoma County of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and the imminent threat that it poses to the health of vulnerable residents and the capacity of the healthcare system. Emerging evidence indicates that the Omicron variant is significantly more transmissible than prior variants of the virus, and that individuals who have had only their initial vaccine series and are eligible for the booster, are susceptible to the Omicron variant.However, initial evidence also shows that individuals who have received a booster shot increase their immunity to a level that confers more protection from all circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the Omicron variant. The CDC and the CDPH now recommend that all eligible persons receive a booster shot because immunity wanes several months after completion of the initial vaccine series.Vaccination is a safe and effective critical component in preventing COVID-19 and its associated harms. Individuals who have not received a booster shot are more likely to become infected and spread infection to others, and more likely to become seriously ill or die. Personnel in Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Pharmacies, Dental Offices and Temporary Disaster Shelters should receive booster shots when eligible to maintain the protective effect of the high community-wide vaccination rates in our County. Ensuring that Personnel working in these higher risk settings are both vaccinated and boosted when eligible is critical given the emergence of the Omicron variant. Personnel working in these settings can expose highly vulnerable individuals who are at increased risk of severe illness and death and they must be protected from COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible to ensure adequate staffing in these critical settings. In considering options to stem the anticipated rapid increase in COVID-19 transmission, ensuring that Personnel who work in these higher risk settings are all vaccinated and boosted when eligible is critically important.
- COVID-19 Test Requirements. Except as set forth in Section 5 of this Order, an Employer shall require all of its Personnel to do the following:
- Receive a COVID-19 Test at least twice a week; and
- Unless test results are sent directly to the Employer by the test provider, Personnel must promptly provide the results of each COVID-19 test to the Employer for Record-Keeping.
Employer may confirm a positive antigen test with a confirmatory nucleic acid amplification test; Employer shall not use another antigen test to confirm a positive antigen test. Employer must exclude from work any Personnel who receives a positive antigen test.
- Fully Updated Personnel. An Employer may exempt the following Personnel from being subject to the COVID-19 Test Requirements set forth in Section 4 of this Order:
- Fully Updated Personnel; and,
- Fully Vaccinated Personnel who are not eligible for a booster (as defined below in Fully Updated). Fully Vaccinated Personnel must show proof to their Employer that they have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccination within fifteen (15) days of becoming eligible, or they must be subject to the COVID-19 Test Requirements (Section 4 above).
An Employer may accept any of the documentation allowed in Subdivision 5 of Order of the Health Officer (C19-26). In the absence of knowledge to the contrary, an Employer may accept the documentation presented as valid.
- Face Covering Requirement. Personnel who are subject to the COVID-19 Test Requirements (Section 4 above) must wear FDA-cleared surgical masks or respirators in indoor work settings, unless exempted from wearing a face covering under Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards and/or the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standards.
- Record-Keeping Requirements. An Employer must keep and maintain a record of the following information for the purpose of inspection by an authorized representative of the Health Officer:
- For Personnel who provide the Employer with documentation in accordance with Section 5 of this Order: (1) Full name and date of birth; (2) COVID19 Vaccine manufacturer; and (3) dates of COVID-2 Vaccine administration.
- For other Personnel: COVID-19 Test results.
- Definitions. For purposes of this Order, the following terms have the meanings given below.
- “CDC” means the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- “CDPH” means the California Department of Public Health.
- “COVID-19 Test” means a nucleic acid amplification or antigen test to detect infection of a person with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- “COVID-19 Vaccine” means a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 that is (1) administered under an emergency use authorization from the FDA; (2) approved by the FDA; or (3) listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.
- “FDA” means the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- “Fully Vaccinated” means a person’s status two weeks following the person’s receipt of a single-dose COVID-19 Vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 Vaccine.
- “Fully Updated” means that an individual is not only “Fully Vaccinated” but has also obtained a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccination for which they are eligible as authorized by the FDA. For example, as of the effective date of this Order, individuals who received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago are eligible for and must obtain a booster shot to be Fully Updated, while individuals who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine more than two months ago are eligible for and must obtain a booster shot of any of the available vaccines to be Fully Updated.
- “Law Enforcement” means all law enforcement officers and administrative/clerical support staff working in (1) the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office; (2) any police department of a city within Sonoma County; (3) the Sonoma County Junior College District Police Department; and (4) the Sonoma State Police Department.
- “Fire” means all firefighters and administrative/clerical support staff, including part-time, stipend and volunteer.
- “Emergency Medical Services” and “EMS” means all prehospital emergency medical care personnel and administrative/clerical support staff, including but not limited to: authorized registered nurse or mobile intensive care nurse, emergency medical technician-I, emergency medical technician-II, emergency medical technician-paramedic, or a physician and surgeon who provides prehospital emergency medical care or rescue services.
- “Temporary Disaster Shelters” means include small-, medium- and large-scale, organized, and temporary accommodations for persons displaced by disasters. Facilities may be residential (e.g., dormitories, campsites) or non-residential (e.g., sports stadiums, schools, churches).
- “Employer” means an employer of Law Enforcement, Fire, or Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacies, Dental Offices, or an operator of Temporary Disaster Shelter in Sonoma County.
- “Personnel” means employees and volunteers of an Employer.
- “Pharmacies” applies specifically to Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Pharmacy Assistants.
- Copies; Contact Information. Copies of the Order shall promptly be made available (1) at the County Administration Center at 575 Administration Drive in Santa Rosa (2) by posting on the County’s website and (3) to any member of the public requesting a copy.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
Dr. Sundari R. Mase, MD, MPH
Health Officer, County of Sonoma
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