New county vaccination orders include California dental offices

Orders take effect Nov. 1 and end April 30, 2024, joining other orders already in place

October 12, 2023
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Quick Summary:
San Luis Obispo and Yolo counties have issued influenza and/or COVID-19 vaccination orders that include dental office personnel. Other California counties may issue new vaccination orders this flu season, and counties may amend their orders at any time. The orders are effective Nov. 1, 2023, through April 30, 2024, and join other county orders that are already in place. Several recur each year during flu season. Read on for details.

Two California counties have issued new influenza and COVID-19 vaccination orders that include dental offices and will take effect Nov. 1, as CDA first reported in the Oct. 6 member newsletter.

Local health officers issued the orders to reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the flu, COVID-19 and RSV, particularly to vulnerable individuals, during peak respiratory virus season. The new orders join others that are already in place in six counties and three cities.

As part of the orders, employers are required to develop or implement a compliant masking or vaccination policy for the workplace.

A regularly updated CDA resource lists all flu- and COVID-related local health department orders.

San Luis Obispo and Yolo counties issue vaccination orders

Effective Nov. 1, workers in dental offices and other health care facilities in San Luis Obispo and Yolo counties are required to be vaccinated as follows:

  • Yolo County: Influenza vaccination order effective through April 30, 2024.
  • San Luis Obispo County: Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination order effective through April 30, 2024, and each flu season thereafter until order is rescinded.

The two new vaccination orders join existing orders for either flu or both flu and COVID-19 in the cities of Berkeley and Pasadena, plus San Francisco (city and county) and the counties of Alameda, Madera, San Joaquin and Santa Clara.

Placer County’s order is similar to the state regulation requiring that personnel in licensed health care facilities either be vaccinated against the flu or wear masks in patient care settings.

Like the new San Luis Obispo order, many vaccination orders are effective each year during flu season, and some local health departments define influenza season differently. For example, Madera County’s vaccination order is effective yearly from Nov. 1 to March 31.

Other cities and counties may issue similar vaccination orders this fall, and counties with existing orders may revise or extend them at any time.

Dentists should familiarize themselves with local health department orders issued on their city or county website. 

Recent county masking orders do not include dental offices

CDA confirmed this week that masking orders issued by San Mateo and Sonoma counties do not include dental office personnel as was incorrectly stated in CDA’s Oct. 6 member newsletter.

CDA also confirmed earlier this month that masking orders issued by Alameda and Contra Costa do not include dental office personnel.

However, as with local vaccination orders, employer-dentists should be aware that counties may amend their orders at any time, while other counties may issue new orders, as a San Francisco Chronicle article notes.

See CDA’s resource Local Public Health Department Orders Related to COVID-19, Flu for links to all current orders. Relatedly, read “Flu season begins: In California, dentists can provide flu, COVID vaccines.”

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