[co-author: Ryan Davis]

For businesses with operations or personnel in Santa Clara County, a new Order of the Health Officer of Santa Clara County requires businesses and governmental entities to determine whether their “personnel” (as defined in the Order) are “fully vaccinated” (also defined in the Order) by June 1, 2021, a very tight timeline to comply.

The Order defines personnel broadly to include employees, contractors and sub-contractors, independent contractors, vendors that sell goods onsite, volunteers, and any other individuals that provide services onsite at a business’s request.

The Order defines “fully vaccinated” as more than two weeks after a second Pfizer or Moderna dose or single Johnson & Johnson dose. The Order requires businesses to treat as unvaccinated all individuals who (1) are not fully vaccinated, or (2) choose not disclose their vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to comply with the Mandatory Directive on use of Face Coverings and applicable provisions of Santa Clara County's Mandatory Directive on Unvaccinated Personnel.

Further, the Order requires businesses to keep adequate records that demonstrate compliance with the Order. The Order requires businesses to document: (1) their inquiry into an individual’s vaccination status; and (2) whether an individual is “fully vaccinated” (as defined in the Order).

After June 1, businesses are required to update their personnel’s vaccination statuses at two-week intervals (June 15, June 29, July 13, etc.) for those individuals who were not previously determined to be fully vaccinated. Businesses are required to keep records to demonstrate ongoing compliance with this provision.

Santa Clara County has provided a template form for businesses to certify individuals’ vaccination status.

Failure to comply with the Order is a misdemeanor and could subject businesses to imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000 for each day of the violation. Businesses should consult with counsel when formulating policies to comply with the Order in light of the potential penalties, short compliance deadline, and broad definition of the term “personnel.”

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