SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Vaccinations are now required for approximately 4,200 St. Joseph’s Health colleagues.
Trinity Health announced on Thursday that effective immediately, the national health system will require all colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The requirement applies to more than 117,000 employees in 22 states nationwide in an effort to stop the spread of the virus and keep all patients, colleagues, and the broader community safe, officials say.
Nearly 80 percent of St. Joseph’s colleagues have been vaccinated already, according to Kelly Quinn of St. Joseph’s Health.
Trinity Health says they have strongly encouraged vaccination for all colleagues since December 2020 and nearly 75 percent of their employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“St. Joseph’s Health is consistently the only hospital in this region to receive Leapfrog Safety Grade A status. That’s how important safety is to us. It’s a Core Value. Our mission calls us to be a compassionate and healing presence in our community. This is the right thing to do to protect the safety of our patients, their family members, and the community at large”Leslie Paul Luke, chief executive officer at St. Joseph’s Health
Employees at Trinity Health and its Health Ministries must meet a series of rolling deadlines, with most locations requiring them to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21, 2021. It has not yet been determined if a COVID-19 vaccine booster will be required annually, but if so, employees will also need to submit proof of the booster as needed.
Exemptions are available for religious or health reasons and must be formally requested, documented and approved. Employees who do not meet criteria for exemption and fail to show proof of vaccination will face termination of their employment.