UPDATED: Trinity Health Now Requiring Employees Get Vaccinated

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CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Bobby Maldonado was a physician when he is in fact a spokesman.

All employees at Trinity Health and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital systems will be required to get vaccinated at Covid-19 by September 21. That is according a press release sent from Trinity Health this year.

"Safety is one of our Core Values. We feel it is important that we take every step available to us to stop the spread and protect those around us-especially the most vulnerable in our communities who cannot be vaccinated including young children and the more than 10 million people who are immunocompromised," said Trinity Health President and CEO Mike Slubowski said in the press release, Thursday. "Over the last year, Trinity Health has counted our own colleagues and patients in the too-high coronavirus death toll. Now that we have a proven way to prevent COVID-19 deaths, we are not hesitating to do our part."

This news effects residents and employees in the community who work both at the Chelsea and Ypsilanti locations. Religious exemptions will have to be formally requested and subject to the healthcare provider’s approval.

"This decision was based on science and safety. The safety of our patients, residents, colleagues, physicians and communities is a top priority for us. The COVID-19 vaccine is the single most effective tool in slowing, and even stopping, the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. Our health system’s Core Value of Safety also calls on us to do everything we can to protect ourselves, our colleagues, our patients and our communities. As health care professionals, we are responsible for doing everything we can to end the pandemic and save lives in our communities," Bobby Maldonado, a spokesperson who works at Saint Joseph Mercy's Chelsea Hospital, told the Sun Times News via email. 

Employees who do not get the shot after approval, or simply refuse to get the shot, can face termination, according to the press release.

"A religious exemption is when a colleague is granted exemption from the vaccination requirement because it contradicts their religious beliefs. In regards to the announcement made last week, exemptions will be made for those who have medical conditions that prohibit vaccination and those with strongly held religious beliefs. These exemptions must be formally requested, documented and approved prior to set deadlines," Maldonado said. 

Maldonado said that town hall-style discussions will be held in the following weeks for staff with questions. Maldonado did not say what the deadlines would be. The healthcare providers corporate headquarters did not respond to requests for comment on this article. 

The Washtenaw County Health department estimates that about 98,091 doses have been administered around Washtenaw as of June 28. The State of Michigan has already begun loosening its much-protested health and social restrictions now that it estimates that 62 percent of the state’s 16-and-above population has received at least one dose. The state estimates that slightly more than half of all 16-and-above Michiganders have received at least one dose.

Headline image credit: trinity-health.org

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