On Aug. 30, the State Board of Health convened an emergency rulemaking hearing to discuss the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)’s proposed rule – 6 CCR 1011-1 Chapter 2, General Licensure Standards and the COVID-19 Vaccine. The proposed emergency rule would require licensed healthcare facilities to mandate their personnel (i.e., employees, direct contractors, and support staff) who interact with individuals seeking medical to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Broadly, this rule should not affect dental offices as most are not “healthcare facilities licensed by CDPHE.”
After more than an hour of testimony in favor and opposed, the Board voted 6-1 to approve the proposed rule. It is effective immediately.
- All healthcare workers, support staff and direct contractors must have their first COVID-19 dose by Sept. 30, second dose no later than Oct. 31.
- COVID-19 boosters will be required if recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
- This applies to all CDPHE-regulated healthcare facilities.
- Facilities must maintain documentation of proof of vaccination or medical/religious exemption for each required healthcare worker.
- Beginning Oct. 1, facilities must report COVID-19 vaccination rate to CDPHE on the 1st and 15th of every month, in addition to the following list of additional data points:
- The total number of employees, direct contractors, and support staff, whether or not the individual is subject to the requirements of this part 12.
- Total number of vaccinated employees, direct contractors, and support staff and the total number of employees, direct contractors, and support staff.
- Number of medical exemptions claimed by employees, direct contractors, and support staff.
- Number of religious exemptions claimed by employees, direct contractors, and support staff.
- Number of employees, direct contractors, and support staff identified by the facility as exempt from the requirements of this part 12.
- Number of employees, direct contractors, and support staff who have left employment with the facility or agency due to the requirements of this part 12, since the last reporting date.
- All reported information will be publicly available.
CDPHE also noted that this rule is an emergency rule and that the final rule will look different (including the reporting requirements). The Colorado Hospital Association testified to ask CDPHE to work with the association and member hospitals and health systems to ensure flexibility and alignment with similar federal reporting requirements, especially given the short time period in which facilities must come into compliance.
CDPHE also emphasized that the rule applies to facilities, not individuals. It does not determine how facilities implement this mandate – healthcare facilities are allowed to determine their own policies and procedures needed in order to achieve this mandate. Facilities that cannot meet the 100% vaccination mandate can apply for a waiver.