NEW YORK (WABC) -- In a notable shift from just last week, New York State's largest healthcare provider and private employer, Northwell Health, will now require all employees to get the COVID vaccine or face regular testing.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated by August 16 will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.
Those who fail to get tested "in a timely manner" will face disciplinary action, including termination, a spokesperson tells ABC.
Northwell was already requiring new hires to be vaccinated, as well as any volunteers on campus, but as of last week they were not imposing any blanket requirement on all employees -- looking towards the vaccines' full approval for next steps -- though leaving the door open as things change. And that's now, "in order to ensure the safety of the patients and communities we serve," a Northwell spokesperson said.
"We believe it is our obligation to set an example for the community by getting our team members vaccinated."
Read the Full Statement Below
"Northwell's vaccination program, which focuses on educating our unvaccinated team members, has been successful in getting 77 percent of our workforce vaccinated. However, in order to ensure the safety of the patients and communities we serve, we will be now requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Team members who are not fully vaccinated by August 16th will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. Those who fail to get tested in a timely manner will face adverse action that could progress up to and include termination.
Northwell has already required all new hires, students and volunteers to be fully vaccinated.
As New York State's largest private employer and health care provider, we believe it is our obligation to set an example for the community by getting our team members vaccinated."
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