NUHW applauds Gov. Newsom’s order on healthcare worker vaccinations

NewsJuly 26, 2021

California Governor Gavin Newsom took bold action today to protect the health of caregivers and patients, and slow the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations are once again surging in California and across the country.
With several NUHW members in attendance at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, Newsom announced that all employers at medical facilities providing direct patient care would be required to verify the vaccination status of their employees, and make sure that unvaccinated workers are provided with N95 masks and tested for COVID-19 twice a week at in-patient facilities and once a week at clinics.

“This action will save lives by reducing the risk of the virus spreading among caregivers and people seeking care,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli told the San Jose Mercury News. “If we have learned anything over the past year and a half, it’s that our healthcare system cannot function when hospitals are too short-handed to effectively serve patients fighting for their lives.”

NUHW, whose entire staff has received the COVID-19 vaccine, has devoted considerable time and resources to educating its more than 15,000 members about the the importance of getting vaccinated.

“The only way to end the pandemic is for everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Rosselli said in statement. “Gov. Newsom’s order will help nudge hesitant caregivers to get vaccinated while decreasing the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak inside medical facilities.”

Newsom’s order also demonstrates the continued importance of conducting COVID-19 testing, particularly for people who remain unvaccinated.

“Throughout the pandemic, major hospital chains that received billions in federal COVID-19 relief funds have refused to test caregivers for the virus even as professional athletes were tested daily,” Rosselli said in his statement. “Last November, Governor Newsom’s Department of Public Health issued a ground-breaking order instructing hospitals to provide weekly COVID-19 tests for patient-facing employees. Today’s action strengthening that mandate for unvaccinated workers further demonstrates that Governor Newsom will not let major healthcare companies put their profits above the health of their workers and patients.”