Update: Because the CDC is changing the vaccine distribution priority recommendations to prioritize adults age 65 and under with an underlying health condition above all essential workers, both North and South Carolina have revised each state's priority list in light of this new guidance, as well.
The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and the NC Department of Health and Human Services have issued their COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Prioritization Plans that we have included in the links below. Please note that in SC, construction workers are listed in Phase 1c with expected vaccinations in early Spring. In NC, construction workers are listed in phase 4 but there is no information regarding when these vaccinations may be available. As the vaccination rollout continues, the prioritization of groups may change as well as the expected dates of distribution so please make sure you are sharing the most timely information with your employees. Also, please be aware that some of your employees may qualify for earlier vaccine distribution based on their age or health condition.
SC DHEC Survey
SC Department of Health and Environment Control (DHEC) released information on the Phase 1b vaccination plan and asked South Carolina businesses to fill out a survey to determine how many frontline essential workers are eligible for the vaccine within the Phase 1b category.
Phase 1b will include workers in health care settings not vaccinated in 1a, persons living and working in shared or overcrowded environments with an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, and frontline essential workers.
DHEC notes that their definition of frontline essential worker is different than the Homeland Security definition.
Per DHEC, frontline essential workers are defined as those in business sectors essential to the functioning of society and who are at substantially higher risk of exposure to COVID-19; that is, their occupational risk is above the risk of the general population. DHEC provides specific criteria for high exposure risk here:
- Those who have frequent or sustained contact with coworkers, including under close working conditions indoors or in poorly ventilated spaces in various types of industrial, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and other critical infrastructure workplaces.
- Those who have frequent indoor or poorly ventilated contact with the general public, including workers in retail stores, grocery stores or supermarkets, pharmacies, transit and transportation operations, law enforcement and emergency response operations, restaurants, and bars.
Phase 1c will include people age 65 and older, ages 16-64 with chronic conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19, and essential workers not vaccinated in 1b.
DHEC is asking businesses to fill out this survey to help them allocate their limited vaccine supply.
The survey also allows businesses to indicate whether they would like to be a vaccine provider.
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