ROANOKE, Va. – Another local hospital will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. This announcement comes after the federal government laid out a new timeline for vaccine mandates to be implemented for businesses with over 100 employees.
LewisGale is now the latest to get in line with a vaccine mandate.
A statement released by LewisGale Regional Health System’s spokesperson, Christopher Finley read:
“All four hospitals in the LewisGale Regional Health System are planning to comply with the federal COVID-19 vaccination requirements. We have plans in place based on processes, best practices and knowledge gained from our operations in states that have already mandated vaccination. Since COVID-19 vaccines became available earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as our infectious disease experts, have been strongly encouraging vaccination as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus and the majority of HCA Healthcare colleagues have already been fully vaccinated. We are working with our colleagues to assist those that have not yet received the vaccine.”
This comes after the Biden administration announced Thursday that large companies across the country now have until January 4th to ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated.
“We know the most destructive thing in a workforce is to have a COVID outbreak,” said Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky.
The sweeping new health measure covers 84 million private-sector workers and applies to businesses with 100 or more employees. Workers who are not vaccinated by then must receive weekly testing.
“We know that vaccines absolutely save lives and we know that mandates work,” said Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci
Federal contractors as well as 17 million workers at health care facilities that receive either Medicare or Medicaid funding are also now required to meet the same January 4th deadline.
But critics say it could further impact labor shortages and supply chain issues.
“These jab or job ultimatums, I think, can only move the economy in a much worse direction,” said Senior Fellow of The Heritage Foundation, Doug Badger.
10 News reached out to Carilion who says they’re still working on ironing out the details of how this mandate will affect their staff.
Sovah released the following statement in regards to the vaccine mandate saying:
“Sovah Health is aware of the latest news regarding the federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements. We agree that the vaccine is our best defense against this virus and have been strongly encouraging our staff to get vaccinated. Right now, we are working to fully understand the details of this development and the impact it will have for employees and providers at our facility. We are committed to fulfilling all of our regulatory and compliance obligations.”