SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — With flu season right around the corner, health workers in Sonoma County are required to get a jab for the virus. Workers at certain health care and congregate facilities fall under the health order that goes into effect Nov. 1, Sonoma County officials announced in a press release Wednesday.
Those on the list of required workers are nurses, physicians, technicians, therapists and pharmacists. They work at facilities such as acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, psychiatric hospitals, dialysis centers, dental offices, etc.
The county said the flu vaccine requirement applies to all workers who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or residents.
County workers must receive the shot by Nov. 30. Those granted an exemption — whether it’s medical, religious or disability-related — must wear a surgical mask or respiratory at all times while working indoors.
Sonoma County ordered the mandate because, “patients and residents in our health care and congregate facilities, especially young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with chronic health conditions, are at greater risk for influenza-related hospitalizations and death,” the health order stated.
Flu season runs from Nov. 1 to May 31, according to the press release. The county also cited the risk of COVID-19 as a reason for the flu shot requirement — citing the potential for both viruses to circulate during the winter months.
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In December 2021, Sonoma County mandated COVID-19 booster shots for a number of first responders. If they didn’t receive their booster shot, the workers were subject to twice-a-week testing.
KRON4 reached out to Sonoma County and asked about what will happen to workers who refuse to get the flu shot. KRON4 has not heard back. The county’s full health order requiring the flu shot can be viewed HERE.