AUSTIN, Texas — On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed course and updated its guidance that those who are vaccinated should still wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. experiencing COVID-19 surges.
Since the announcement, and as cases continue a steady rise in the Austin area, some local hospital groups have released statements on how they will be requiring employees to get vaccinated.
This list will be updated as new statements are released:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and new variants of the virus emerge, Ascension continues to focus on ensuring our associates are protected – for the safety of patients and visitors, our associates, our families and loved ones and the community.
Like many health systems across the country, including in many of our markets, we are moving to require our associates to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Ascension conducted a thorough moral and ethical analysis as part of the decision-making process. This decision is rooted in our Mission commitment to leading with quality and safety. As a health care provider and as a Catholic ministry, ensuring we have a culture of safety for our associates, patients and communities is foundational to our work.
Tens of thousands of Ascension associates have already been vaccinated with the available vaccines, as have millions of people across the country and the world. But we must do more to overcome this pandemic as we provide safe environments for those we serve.
Ascension will require that all associates be vaccinated against COVID-19, whether or not they provide direct patient care, and whether they work in our sites of care or remotely. This includes associates employed by subsidiaries and partners; physicians and advanced practice providers, whether employed or independent; and volunteers and vendors entering Ascension facilities.
Our timeline for completing the vaccine series and meeting this requirement will be Nov. 12, 2021. This timing is aligned with Ascension’s annual influenza vaccination requirement and we will follow a similar implementation process. In those instances when someone may not be able to get vaccinated due to a medical condition or strongly held religious belief, Ascension will provide a process for requesting an exemption similar to the process we use for the annual influenza vaccine. In addition, this requirement will be implemented in accordance with collective bargaining agreements reached between Ascension business entities and unions representing our associates.
Together, we will put this pandemic behind us so that we can continue to focus on meeting the needs of those who come to us for care.
With rapidly rising COVID-19 case counts due to the highly contagious delta variant and the start of the flu season fast approaching, we believe now is the right time to take the next step in achieving a fully vaccinated workforce.
By Oct. 1, 2021, all Baylor Scott & White Health employees, providers, volunteers, vendors, students and contract staff must receive both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, unless granted an exemption.
The delta variant is the most contagious and dangerous strain we have seen to date, leading to exponentially increasing rates of severe illness and hospitalization. The overwhelming majority of these cases are among the unvaccinated.
We are committed to making the communities we serve healthier. Whether you are a patient, family member or employee, you can be assured that we have taken every measure to protect you.
St. David’s HealthCare has strongly encouraged COVID-19 vaccinations for all staff, physicians and patients and has provided nearly 23,000 vaccinations on a strictly voluntary basis. While colleagues are not required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, our infectious disease experts, as well as those at the CDC, are strongly encouraging vaccination as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus. Our hospitals continue to follow guidance outlined by the CDC regarding protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in our facilities, including universal masking for all colleagues, patients and visitors, and we continue to work closely with the other hospital systems in the community and with Austin Public Health to coordinate COVID care for our community.