Health Officer Allows Mask Alternative to Flu Vaccine Requirement for Health Care Workers

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After listening to concerns from the Board of Supervisors and healthcare workers, Shasta County
Health Officer Karen Ramstrom has rescinded the recent order that requires healthcare workers to be vaccinated against influenza without offering a required mask alternative.

“The Board of Supervisors and I appreciate Dr. Ramstrom’s commitment to helping ensure our local healthcare workers and patients are protected against flu and COVID-19,” said Shasta County Executive Officer Matt Pontes. The health officer order from 2013 still stands, which requires healthcare workers to either be vaccinated against influenza or wear a mask at all times while at work during influenza season. Last year, more than 93 percent of local hospital employees opted to receive flu vaccine. Multiple studies have demonstrated that vaccinating healthcare workers against influenza helps to protect healthcare workers and their patients.

“It is more important than ever for healthcare workers to get vaccinated against flu, and the
supervisors recognize the importance of offering an alternative for the healthcare workers who
decline vaccination,” said Shasta County Board of Supervisors Chairperson Mary Rickert. “We want our healthcare workers to stay safe and healthy during this flu season.”

Flu vaccination of people 6 months and older can reduce the number of flu cases and also reduce
symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19. Using masks and being vaccinated will
help protect healthcare workers and their patients from illness.
“Masks and vaccination together offer the best protection than either of them alone for our
healthcare workers and the community,” Dr. Ramstrom said.
Health Officer order rescinded
Frequently asked questions about influenza vaccination during COVID-19

-from press release
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