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California COVID vaccine mandate extends to aides for people with disabilities – Times-Herald

Jackie Fortiér, KPCC

Adult and Elderly Care Facility Workers and Home Caregivers have been added to the list of California health care workers who must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Vaccine obligations include those who work directly with people with disabilities, such as employees paid through the state’s regional center network, supporters contracted with government agencies, and home support service workers who do not live with supporters. became.This new group Complete vaccination by November 30..

Previous health orders only targeted people working in licensed apartments such as nursing homes and supported 89% of people with developmental disabilities living alone or in group homes with their families. Excluded staff to do.

For months, it has questioned people like Tim Jin, who rely on aides for their daily work: is my toothbrush vaccinated?

“Because of my physical disability, I can’t cook, eat, use the toilet, use the microwave, etc. I’m totally dependent on others to help me,” Jin said.

Gin has Cerebral palsy And lacks the use of his arms and hands. He mainly communicates by typing with his toes on an iPad mounted next to the foot of an electric wheelchair. Up to six health assistants come and go to their homes each day to help with intimate work such as eating and bathing.

“The staff who come to my house should be vaccinated. It’s very easy,” he said. “It’s a matter of life and death.”

Vaccine requirements can only be exempted by healthcare professionals with religious dissent or eligible medical conditions. They are weekly tested for the virus that causes covid-19 and you should wear a high quality mask when working.

During September Los Angeles County Included those aides in the vaccine Delegation,next KPCC / LAist story It reported about the discrepancy.

However, the order applies only to Los Angeles County and excludes 200,000 Californians with developmental disabilities who live elsewhere, including Tim Jin, who lives in neighboring Orange County.

Defenders with disabilities wanted state health officials to use LA County as a model, California September 28 Health Order Going further, we made home support service workers and home medical assistants obliged to vaccinate.

“These care environments are home to Californians with complex medical conditions, all of which are at high risk of serious but preventable consequences, including hospitalization, serious illness and death.” Stated. Dr. Thomas Aragon, California Public Health Officer.

According to the California Public Health Service, California has reported 19,830 confirmed outbreaks across pandemics, nearly 50% of which are reported in medical, mass care, and direct medical settings. .. The most common (22%) of these outbreaks occur in adult and elderly care facilities and in-home direct care facilities.

Studies show that people with intellectual or developmental disabilities often have an underlying health condition. Make them more sensitive Accomplice.

“And when they are diagnosed with covid-19, they are about two to three times more likely to die of the disease,” he said. Scott Landes, Associate Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Citizenship and Public Relations, Syracuse University.

Landes said The case seems to depend on two variables: The amount of face-to-face intimate care required by existing conditions and people with developmental disabilities.

“This really makes sense for covid,” he said. “If you have a caregiver right next to you all day long, it will increase your chances of getting sick.”

This story comes from a reporting partnership that includes Southern California Public Radio, NPR, and KHN.

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California COVID vaccine mandate extends to aides for people with disabilities – Times-Herald Source link California COVID vaccine mandate extends to aides for people with disabilities – Times-Herald

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