The Colorado State Board of Health meets on December 15, 2021, to discuss changes to 6 CCR 1011-1 Chapter 2, General Licensure Standards regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate.
RALNA members in Colorado likely recall that the Board held an emergency hearing on August 30, 2021, to determine whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers. After an extensive public comment period, the Board voted in favor of an emergency ruling imposing a mandate.
Since the adoption of this emergency rule, data collected by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that:
- Approximately 92% of the healthcare workforce in Colorado is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- Only 1.4% of total reported personnel have left their jobs due to the vaccine mandate.
The Department engaged with stakeholders to propose revisions to the emergency regulations with the goal of (1) making implementation less burdensome, and (2) harmonizing the state mandate with the mandate announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on November 4, 2021, which applies to all federally certified facilities.
- Medical and religious exemptions will be treated in the same manner. Employees will apply for an exemption from their employer (facility), and the facility will determine if that application meets the requirements of the facility policy. The Department will calculate compliance with the 100% requirement as follows: 100% = # of vaccinated individuals + # of employees with medical exemptions + # of employees with religious exemptions.
- The requirement for booster doses has been removed. Instead, each facility is to develop a policy to encourage booster doses.
- Individuals who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 or received certain COVID-19 treatments should obtain a medical exemption from their licensed independent practitioner that indicates the timeframe during which the medical exemption is valid. These individuals are required to obtain full vaccination status after this timeframe expires.
- New hires must be fully vaccinated, receive a one-dose vaccination, or receive their first dose of a two-dose vaccination prior to assignment involving exposure to clients. These new hires may also apply for a religious or medical exemption from their facility/agency, in accordance with the facility’s policy.
- Clarification is provided that all employees, direct contractors, and support staff are subject to the vaccine requirement, unless these individuals only work outside of the facility and do not have any direct contact with clients or other staff.
- All facilities and agencies must institute mandatory protective measures for all unvaccinated individuals. These mandatory measures are:
- Mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE), based on state and national guidelines and appropriate to the specific healthcare setting; and
- Social distancing, when doing so does not interfere with or prevent completion of job duties.
- Testing is not required.
- Required reporting must occur for two reporting periods: the 1st through the 14th of the month and the 15th through the last day of the month.
To attend the hearing:
December 15, 2021, at 10:00am
The meeting will be held remotely via Zoom: Zoom Link
Sign up for oral testimony here.
You can check the RALNA Legislative Tracker for real-time updates on the proposed legislation that we’re watching: