Staff getting covid vaccine

Kendal at Oberlin joins other health care and long-term care employers by requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Kendal employees were notified last week that they must be vaccinated by Oct. 1. Staff who are not fully vaccinated by that date – without having an approved medical or religious exemption – will be at risk to be placed on unpaid leave.

“We care about our staff and our residents, and the vaccine is the right thing to do,” said CEO Barbara Thomas. “We must assure our residents have every possible protection in their own home. And while the vaccine can most assuredly reduce serious illness, hospitalization or even death, to have staff or residents isolated by COVID for 14 days has a serious impact on our resident’s quality of life and our ability to deliver services by way of staff.”

All of Kendal’s 350 residents have been fully vaccinated and 82.6 percent of its 224 full-and part-time staffers have been vaccinated. 

Healthcare organizations recommending mandates

Last month the American Medical Association, the American Nursing Association, Leading Age and 50 other health care organizations issued a joint statement in support of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all workers in health and long-term care.

In part the statement read:

“As we move towards full FDA approval of the currently available vaccines, all health care workers should get vaccinated for their own health, and to protect their colleagues, families, residents of long-term care facilities and patients. This is especially necessary to protect those who are vulnerable, including unvaccinated children and the immunocompromised. Indeed, this is why many health care and long-term care organizations already require vaccinations for influenza, hepatitis B, and pertussis.”

Kendal’s notice gives unvaccinated staff members two months to be fully vaccinated for COVID or to submit a request for personal medical accommodation or religious accommodation.