Businesses Must Track Unvaxxed Employees Under New Santa Clara Health Order

Santa Clara public health officials unveiled a sweeping set of public health requirements for businesses and government entities last week. The order, which took effect May 19, requires public and private entities to attempt to determine vaccination status for all employees and then update that information every 14 days. In addition, the order requires all employees to notify their workplaces if they test positive for COVID-19. Workplaces are required to report these cases to the Public Health Department within 24 hours.

Unvaccinated personnel are held to a higher standard under the new directive. Those who have not received vaccines must wear face coverings at work and avoid the workplace after being exposed to an infected person. Workplaces are encouraged to ban them from work-related travel and must provide them with information on how to get vaccinated. The new rules came as a surprise to local businesses, the Mercury News reports.

These rules appear to be the strictest in the state so far. They settle an outstanding question about loosened restrictions for vaccinated individuals, which have been criticized for relying on an “honor system.”

“This new, more limited health order is focused on ensuring safety for workers and the public," James Williams, County Counsel for Santa Clara, said in a statement. "As the State prepares to lift its Blueprint for a Safer Economy and adopt even more differentiated rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, this order will help businesses and the public prepare. The bottom line is that now is the moment to ensure you’re fully vaccinated.”