Source: AP Photo/Tony Dejak.
By Leah Barkoukis
University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic—two of Cleveland, Ohio’s major healthcare systems—announced last week they have reversed their Covid-19 vaccine mandates for employees.
The move comes after a federal court blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for healthcare workers.
“University Hospitals has been moving to implement the COVID-19 vaccine mandate required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In light of the federal court injunction issued Nov. 30 that temporarily blocks CMS from enforcing the mandate, come Jan. 4, unless there is further legal action, caregivers may continue to provide patient care services regardless of their vaccination status,” UH said in a statement.
The Cleveland Clinic also announced it would allow unvaccinated employees to continue working.
“In light of these developments, we are pausing the implementation of our COVID-19 vaccine policy, which required all employees and those who provide services with us to either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or an approved exemption with accommodations,” the Clinic said. “However, to further strengthen our protection of employees and patients, we will put in place additional safety requirements for employees who are unvaccinated, including periodic testing for those providing direct clinical care.”
Both hospital systems noted that the majority of their staff are already vaccinated.
“We believe, consistent with the scientific consensus, that COVID-19 vaccines are the most effective way to protect our caregivers, patients and community. The overwhelming majority of our caregivers are vaccinated. We are grateful to our caregivers for their service,” UH said.
“As a health system, we continue to strongly encourage all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and we are proud that the majority of our employees are already vaccinated,” the Cleveland Clinic’s statement concluded.