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OLOL mandates COVID-19 vaccine for all employees; BRG requiring vaccine or training

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:07 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 12:22 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Two Baton Rouge area hospitals announced Tuesday they are requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The CEO of Baton Rouge General (BRG) told employees in an email they would be required to either get the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 30 or undergo quarterly training and practice other safety measures. BRG employees who do not get vaccinated will be required to continue to wear masks even after the governor’s statewide indoor mask mandate was lifted.

Beginning on Aug. 15, Our Lady of the Lake Health System (OLOL) will require all team members, employed providers, residents, students in clinical rotations, contract staff, and volunteers to get the COVID-19 vaccine by December.

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Here is the full statement from OLOL:

Today, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System announced to its organization it will require the Covid-19 vaccine for all team members, employed providers, residents, students in clinical rotations, contract staff, and volunteers. Implementation of the requirement will occur over several months concluding December, 2021.We have listened to our team members and physicians as well as tracked the rapid progress of this fourth surge to reach this decision. Throughout the pandemic, our teams have risen to the calling to care for those who need them. We continue that now but already we are straining to meet the demand. It is predicted that we have several weeks and possibly months before we reach the peak of this surge. We must act now to protect each other from spreading the delta variant and protect vulnerable patients from exposure. Vaccines are the best means of accomplishing this and more important than ever as the lasting step to end this pandemic. We should not wait any longer. Our health system is not alone in its decision to require a vaccine and joins many other healthcare organizations and expect others to follow. As a healthcare leader we believe we must take this step now for everyone’s safety and long-term community well-being.

There’s never been a more important time to demonstrate, by example, our responsibility to one another and all those we serve.

Officials with BRG say they will require employees to get the vaccine by Sept. 30 or complete training and continue to mask once the mask mandate has been lifted.

Here is the full statement from BRG to its employees:

“Thank you for your hard work and efforts during this fourth wave of COVID. I could not be prouder of the work you’re doing to take care of our patients. As you know, COVID continues to spread rapidly across the community. Admissions at our hospital, across the state and the nation show that the majority of hospitalizations involve unvaccinated people who are younger and healthier than those who were sick in the first three waves. Vaccination and masking indoors are the best defense against the virus, working most effectively together.

As of today, more than 50% of our employees have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. Beginning in September, we will require all employees to either be vaccinated or complete an education program on a quarterly basis, in addition to continuing to wear masks once the mask mandate is lifted. This program was developed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, BRG physicians and infection control leaders and is designed to dispel the myths and misinformation that leads many unvaccinated people to overestimate the risks of the vaccine and underestimate the risks of COVID.

This education will be assigned through HealthStream in the coming week to employees who have not yet begun the process of vaccination or have not uploaded documentation of vaccination obtained elsewhere into Kronos. The deadline for completion of the first education module or vaccination is September 30, 2021.

Thank you again for your hard work and dedication through this latest surge.”

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