Leaders at the largest health system in New York City made the decision amid increases in cases caused by the rapid spread of the delta variant and as an added measure to protect faculty and staff who have worked tirelessly caring for patients during the pandemic.
"Over the past weeks and months, we have worked hard to encourage every member of our Mount Sinai family to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to protect you, your patients, your coworkers, your families, and your communities," President and CEO Dr. Kenneth Davis said in an internal message to staff. "We are grateful for those of you who got the vaccine. Given the increased incidence and the rapid spread of the delta variant, we will be making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all faculty and staff, with limited exceptions for religious and medical reasons, and excluding employees who work fully remotely and have a current Remote Work Agreement in place. This will apply to employees at all Mount Sinai locations, including hospital, ambulatory, academic, corporate, and other sites."
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Those who do not get the shot and do not receive a medical or religious exemption will be subject to disciplinary action, including the possibility of termination.
"Mount Sinai Health System has always firmly believed that we are different than other large New York metropolitan region employers," Davis wrote. "As a hospital, a school, and a health care provider, we have responsibilities not only to each other, but to the communities we serve. And the right thing to do for our communities -- and our Mount Sinai family -- is to make sure we are all vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccines are simply the best protection we have against this virus, and our patients deserve the best."
The hospital will continue to implement the vaccine-or-testing protocol announced in June, and starting in September, faculty and staff who receive a medical or religious exemption from the vaccine mandate must continue to undergo this weekly testing.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
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