On November 30th, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction to halt the start of the national vaccine mandate for all healthcare workers. This mandate required healthcare workers to get an initial vaccine shot by December 5th and a final shot by January 4th. At this point, it is unknown when a final ruling will be determined.
The belief that we have turned the corner in our fight against COVID-19 is inaccurate. In many states and communities, the rate of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is rising. American Baptist Homes of the Midwest (ABHM) believes the safety of our residents and staff is our most important priority.
The American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, LeadingAge (a national longterm care association), and many other groups have joined together to urge all health care and long-term care employers to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We agree it is the right thing to do to continue the fight against COVID-19.
In an effort to best limit risks for the vulnerable people we care for and to continue to ensure we protect our employees, ABHM believes a vaccine mandate is still necessary in our senior living communities. With that in mind, we will be requiring all employees, contractors and vendors to complete a COVID-19 vaccination series by February 15, 2022. In addition, prospective new employees will be informed of this company policy and be required to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated prior to February 15, 2022. There will be an opportunity to submit a religious or medical exemption accommodation request, for consideration.
Moving the vaccine requirement date to February 15th allows ABHM to put our own policies in place and circulate to employees in a timely fashion. If the federal healthcare mandate gets reinstated, we will follow all the guidelines enforced by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).
We are encouraging all unvaccinated employees to get their vaccine as soon as possible. We must continue to do everything we can to combat the virus and requiring employees be vaccinated is an important step.
ABHM President and CEO
Please click here for prior Community at Franklin Park Covid-19 updates.