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States Respond to COVID-19: Calif. Hospital Mandate, ACIP Guidelines

The California Department of Public Health issued an order, effective immediately, to preserve resources and ensure hospitals can care for critically ill patients. The order comes in response to hospital surges as a result of COVID-19.

Provisions in the order require hospitals to:

  • delay certain elective procedures;
  • notify the state if the hospital reaches crisis care;
  • both transfer and accept transfers of patients when crisis care status is reached; and
  • coordinate with local hospitals before performing ambulatory surgeries, to ensure hospitals have capacity to accept post-surgery patients.

States Adopt ACIP Prioritization Recommendations

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) released recommendations for prioritization of vaccines to certain high-risk populations.

The guidance recommends health care personnel and long term care residents receive the vaccine first. The ACIP recommendations are meant to be flexible and adaptable, and used in consideration for specific state and local regulations.

The majority of states have adopted ACIP’s guidelines. However, 14 states have modified the guidelines to prioritize high-risk groups in different ways: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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