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Published: January 18, 2022

Bracing for More Health Care Staff Shortages and New Mask Guidance

California, as well as the nation, prepare for more staffing shortages in healthcare after the Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies, but allowed a vaccine mandate to stay in place for medical facilities. President Biden has called on states and businesses to voluntarily institute vaccination requirements to protect workers, customers, and the broader community.

Additionally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have adjusted their guidelines to allow healthcare workers to return to work immediately after testing positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic. The new guidance will remain in place January 8, 2022 until February 1, 2022. According to the guidelines, hospitals should exhaust all other options before allowing COVID-19 positive workers to return to work.

Lastly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced new guidelines on mask wearing. "Masks and respirators can provide different levels of protection depending on the type of mask and how they are used. Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, layered finely woven products offer more protection, well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection."  The change comes as Omicron variant cases continue to soar.

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