Vaccine requirements in the workplace have existed for years. mandating workers receive Influenza vaccines as well as others. Local institutions are moving towards adding another vaccination to that list. Genesis Health System — one of the largest employers in the Quad Cities — implemented a COVID-19 vaccine requirement policy.
The delta variant of COVID-19 continues to surge across the country and the Quad Cities, which is why representatives from Genesis felt it was vital they enact a policy to protect both their staffers and their patients.
Genesis’s Chief Medical Officer Kurt Andersen explained, “When we know that the vaccine can help prevent spread of the virus, prevent patients spreading it to our staff or our staff spreading it to patients or even patient to patient spread we absolutely have to endorse vaccination as a way of protecting our staff and our patients.” The mission is to ensure everyone remains safe and that their organization is doing everything it can to protect the community and minimize the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
Genesis noted their employees are able to file for an exemption from this vaccine requirement. Local law professionals detailed the intricacies of this policy — stating, “Even if they [employees] would have a religious or disability acceptation they still could be fired because an employer could decide based on the circumstances presented that present or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of those around them.”
Both Genesis Medical System and UnityPoint Health Trinity — major healthcare providers in the Quad Cities — have enacted these policies and have given employees until around this November to receive the vaccine and therefore comply. Any employees who refuse to follow protocol — and who don’t have an exemption — will be subject to voluntary termination. These employers remind the community these terms exist to protect the community.