MORGANTOWN — Employees and other healthcare workers at WVU Medicine now know when they’ll need to be fully vaccinated in order to keep working for the health system.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ requirement that all healthcare providers — including health systems, hospitals, and clinics — vaccinate their employees against COVID-19 as a condition of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. That means that every hospital and health system in the United States, including WVU Medicine, must comply.
With that, WVU Medicine set Feb. 28 as the day that healthcare workers in the system’s Pennsylvania and Maryland sites be fully vaccinated. Healthcare workers in the system’s West Virginia and Ohio sites must be fully vaccinated by March 15.
Full vaccination, according to WVU Medicine, means two shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Boosters are recommended, but not required.
That includes all employees, physicians, licensed independent practitioners, residents, volunteers, students, trainees, contractors, and vendors across the health system, unless a medical or religious exemption has been granted.
Any new hire at WVU Medicine starting on or after Jan. 31, and who isn’t approved for a medical or religious exemption, must receive at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the J&J vaccine, by their start date.
Any new hire starting on or after Feb. 28 – if working at a WVU Medicine facility in Pennsylvania or Maryland – or March 15 – if working at a WVU Medicine facility in West Virginia or Ohio – must be fully vaccinated before starting their new role.
WVU Medicine recommends any current unvaccinated employee without an approved exemption get at least one dose of the vaccine by Feb. 14. This will allow those receiving the two-dose vaccine to be fully vaccinated by March 15.
Existing employees and new hires not yet fully vaccinated, and unvaccinated employees who have been granted a medical or religious exemption, must wear a fit-tested, NIOSH-approved N95 mask or equivalent or higher-level respirator at all times while at work.
WVU Medicine said that 97% of its staff already is fully vaccinated.