Boulder Community Health will require all employees to get coronavirus vaccine – The Denver Post

Boulder Community Health on Thursday announced it will require all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1.

“We take our obligation to protect the health of our patients, visitors, employees and the communities we serve very seriously,” said Robert Vissers, president and CEO of BCH in a news release. “I’m proud and grateful that the great majority of our employees and physicians have already demonstrated their belief in the COVID-19 vaccine by getting fully vaccinated.”

BCH’s new policy states that all employees, members of its medical staff, volunteers, trainees and students will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the release said. Business partners, independent contractors and vendors who come into or work at BCH facilities also must get vaccinated.

If employees are able to show they need an exemption for medical or religious reasons they are not required to vaccinate, the release said. Those who receive an approved exemption will be required to wear a mask at all times in BCH facilities and a face shield in patient care areas. They will be tested weekly for COVID-19. Other employees who fail to get vaccinated by Nov. 1 will face disciplinary action, the release said.

The news comes after UCHealth late in July announced it will mandate all employees receive the COVID-19 vaccination by Oct. 1

The Colorado Hospital Association released a statement Thursday asking all health care employees to vaccinate and expressed support for health care organizations that independently adopt policies requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees and staff, the release said.

According to that statement, “Science has shown that the vaccines are safe and effective at substantially reducing the risks of becoming infected, spreading the virus to others and becoming severely ill or dying from the disease.”

BCH is implementing its new policy as the highly transmissible delta variant increases in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the country. According to the most recent data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there are 169 delta variant cases in Boulder County. CDPHE data lags about one week, according to past reporting.

“People can do a lot to safeguard themselves, their loved ones and the overall community through consistent masking, keeping a healthy distance when you’re around other people, and avoiding indoor spaces that don’t have plenty of fresh air from the outdoors,” said Susan Hagen, BCH’s medical staff president, in the release. “However, those measures just aren’t enough against highly infectious variants such as delta. The only way we’re going to defeat this virus is for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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