Baton Rouge hospitals requiring vaccines or masks for unvaccinated workers: Latest here
BATON ROUGE - Health care facilities in Baton Rouge began implementing vaccine mandates for most employees.
Hospital systems and facilities outlined new policies Tuesday. Policies will begin between September and December for varying companies.
Our Lady of the Lake/ Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
Coronavirus vaccines will be required for everyone working at the healthcare system associated with Our Lady of the Lake.
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System announced the mandate Tuesday, a day after its top COVID doctor begged Louisianans to get a vaccine and wear a mask as hospitals statewide are besieged by virus patients.
"[The hospital system] will require the Covid-19 vaccine for all team members, employed providers, residents, students in clinical rotations, contract staff, and volunteers," the system said in a statement.
Implementation of the requirement will occur over several months concluding in 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," said President and CEO Richard Vath in a prepared statement.
"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."
Also Tuesday, FranU added that it was part of the vaccine mandate. In a separate statement, the medical college said all FranU faculty, staff and students who will be on campus are required to be vaccinated with either Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Proof of vaccination will be required by August 13, 2021.
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System said Tuesday, 64% of employees working for the health system were vaccinated.
Students, faculty and staff may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for reasons consistent with Louisiana state vaccine laws.
Baton Rouge General
At Baton Rouge General, employees will either need to be vaccinated or wear masks at work, including after the temporary mask mandate is lifted. Unvaccinated employees will also be required to complete a quarterly education program 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." More than half of the employees spread across Baton Rouge General facilities are vaccinated, the hospital said in a statement Tuesday. Policy changes begin in September.
Ochsner Health said late Tuesday, it was awaiting mandating COVID vaccinations for employees once the vaccines are no longer under emergency use authorization.
Warner Thomas, the President and CEO of the health system said in a statement Tuesday:
“Last week, Ochsner Health announced enhanced employee and patient safety protection protocols, including weekly COVID-19 testing and the wearing of N95 masks for unvaccinated staff, as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and its variants. Additionally, we maintain our plan to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all employees once the COVID-19 vaccine is no longer under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Cases in Louisiana continue to rise at an unprecedented rate while our vaccination rates continue to be low.
We know that vaccination saves lives and as part of the oath we’ve taken as healthcare providers to do no harm, we stand by our decision to make vaccinations a requirement for all employees once EUA is lifted and put additional safety measures in place to protect our staff and patients. In the last week, we’ve had an additional 1,144 employees begin their vaccination series and see more of our colleagues and community members stepping up and rolling up their sleeves every day. We remain a steadfast advocate for vaccination and for the additional proven protections provided by widespread and proper masking, social distancing, and hand hygiene. Only by working together can we put an end to this unnecessary loss of life.”
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