Trinitas Regional Medical Center is mandating all its staff, including physicians who practice at the facility, become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or register a valid medical or religious exemption by Oct. 1, CEO Gary Horan announced Thursday.
Those who do not will not be allowed to continue working there, Horan said.
“Over the last year and a half, all of us at Trinitas have witnessed how debilitating and deadly COVID-19 can be,” Horan said. “We realize there is no better way of protecting our patients, visitors, community and each other than to take this step of mandating the vaccine among our employees and medical staff.
“Due to the critical need for everyone to be protected from COVID, those who do not comply with this mandate will have their employment terminated. Private practicing physicians who do not comply will be suspended. Vendors must show proof of vaccination before entering Trinitas.”
The move is not unusual. Nationwide, hundreds of hospitals and health care facilities have implemented such a requirement. Horan noted that Trinitas already requires volunteers and students to be vaccinated or have a valid medical or religious exemption.
“In late December, we were in the forefront of encouraging our staff and community to take advantage of the protections offered by the COVID-19 vaccines,” he said. “These vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective, and our best tool in preventing the spread of COVID, including the new variants. Those who received the vaccine have a greatly diminished chance of catching this virus.
“COVID, however, has not been defeated, and is in fact posing a new threat by way of the highly contagious Delta variant. We hear each day of new cases in parts of the U.S. and across the globe.”
To date, the Trinitas staff has given more than 26,000 doses of the vaccine to staff and the general community.
“I am proud that three-quarters of our staff and 98% of our management personnel have chosen to become vaccinated,” he said.
Trinitas has 2,700 employees and a medical staff of 500 physicians.
“The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association are all in support of COVID vaccine mandates for health care workers,” he added. “I expect all hospitals will take this step in the near future.”