San Diego’s Flu Vaccination or Masking Mandate

September 2017

The San Diego County Department of Public Health has mandated that all health care workers in the county who have not had a flu vaccination wear a mask in order to protect themselves, patients, visitors, and co-workers. The use of a mask if you are not vaccinated is a not a choice – it is required by law.

1. If I choose not to be vaccinated, when do I have to begin wearing a mask and how long do I need to wear it?

The mask requirement will be in place for the duration of each influenza season.

2. How will we know who has been vaccinated?

Employees, physicians, students, volunteers, and contract workers who have been vaccinated will receive a sticker to be worn on their ID badge. These individuals are not required to wear a mask, except when indicated by a patient's condition.

3. Where can I get a mask and what type of mask is required?

The masks are available in departments, in stations, and on the units. If you cannot access one, speak to your manager.

4. Where are masks required for those not vaccinated?

Individuals in mandated facilities without a sticker on their badges are required to wear a surgical mask in all patient care areas. The definition applied to patient care or clinic areas includes the physical or recognized borders of hospital and clinic areas where patients are present, evaluated, or treated; including waiting rooms, reception/waiting areas, and patient care hallways. The mandate exempts cafeterias, non-patient restrooms, break-rooms, lounges, meeting rooms, lab testing areas, areas where there is no member contact, and administrative suites/offices.

5. What if I have a medical contraindication to getting an influenza vaccination?

The law requires all non-vaccinated health care providers in mandated facilities within the county to wear a mask, even if you have a medical reason for not being vaccinated.