The California State Public Health Officer Order that required unvaccinated school employees to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing has been rescinded effective September 17, 2022. The recission order, issued by California Director and State Public Health Officer Tomás J. Aragón, MD, DrPH on September 13, 2022, is accessible here.
This order is significant, as school districts may need to adjust or modify their COVID-19 testing protocols for unvaccinated employees in response to this change.
The weekly testing order previously applied to all paid and unpaid adults serving in public and private schools with students in transitional kindergarten through grade 12, except home schools. It did not apply to childcare or to higher education.
The new order refers to the California SMARTER Plan, which outlines the next phase of California's pandemic response. According to a February 17, 2022 press release by Governor Gavin Newsom, the SMARTER Plan will guide California's strategic approach to managing COVID-19 while moving the state's recovery forward. Emphasizing continued readiness, awareness and flexibility, the Plan will ensure California can maintain its focus on communities that continue to be disproportionately impacted, and stay prepared to swiftly and effectively respond to emerging COVID-19 variants and changing conditions.
Read the California SMARTER Plan: The Next Phase of California's COVID-19 Response here.
The California Department of Public Health's specific guidance and recommendations for K-12 schools in the 2022-2023 school year can be accessed here.