Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

(Santa Ana, CA) – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced in a 9/13/22 update to several State Public Health Officer Orders, that mandated testing of the small number of unvaccinated workers will no longer be required.

The rescinded Health Officer Orders remove the weekly screening testing requirements for employees in certain high-risk settings (dental offices, schools, certain congregate settings and health care and adult care facilities) that previously applied to unvaccinated or un-boosted workers. Additionally, Acute Care Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities and Adult and Senior Care Residential Facilities licensed by the California Department of Social Services will no longer require visitors to show proof of vaccination or a negative test for indoor visitation.

Vaccination and booster requirements for workers in these settings will not change and these changes do not affect the masking requirements for individuals in high-risk settings.

The updated State Health Officer Orders will go into effect on September 17, 2022. The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) will publish amended Health Officer Orders to reflect these changes September 16, 2022.

Amended Orders include the following:

  • 2/22/22 State and Local Correctional Facilities and Detention Centers Health Care Worker Vaccination Requirement
  • 2/2/22 Health Care Worker Vaccine Requirement
  • 2/22/22 Adult Care Facilities and Direct Care Worker Vaccine Requirement

Orders that have been rescinded:

  • 7/26/21 Health Care Worker Protections in High-Risk Settings
  • 8/11/21 Vaccine Verification for Workers in Schools
  • 2/11/22 Requirements for Visitors in Acute Health Care and Long-Term Care Settings

Due to Orange County’s recent declines in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved the county into the Low Community Level. See CDC Tracker. Downward trends and reduction in severe illnesses are particularly welcome news for local health care systems, which continue to be strained by the pandemic.

At this level, the CDC recommends residents continue to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination and updated bivalent booster recommendations when eligible and follow isolation recommendations if an individual becomes sick or is suspected to have COVID-19.

Although Orange County has low community levels, residents are advised to remain vigilant as many viruses – including influenza, rhinovirus, enterovirus and COVID-19 variant strains are circulating through the community and causing illness and with flu season fast approaching. All preventive measures learned during the COVID-19 pandemic such as receiving recommended vaccines (COVID-19, flu, and other childhood vaccinations), staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene, wearing a mask when indoors for high-risk individuals can all be utilized to keep residents safe in the upcoming months.

Testing for COVID-19 remains a key tool to detect and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Individuals experiencing symptoms are advised to test and isolate. Additionally, if outbreaks do occur, testing can still be utilized to detect and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To schedule an appointment for vaccination, visit or For more information on COVID-19 including case counts, vaccination, testing in Orange County and other resources, visit

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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