Monroe County, major healthcare system employees required to get vaccine or face regular testing in Sept.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Healthcare workers at multiple area healthcare systems and hospitals will have to be vaccinated by Sept. 8, or face weekly testing, the Monroe County Health Department of Public Health announced Monday.
The new rules apply to employees of Monroe Community Hospital, the Monroe County Department of Public Health, Rochester Regional Health, URMC, the University of Rochester, and UR Medicine affiliates, and will go into effect Wednesday, Sept. 8.
The protocol was announced in a joint statement from Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza, and leaders of URMC and RRH.
It comes just a day after the CDC’s data tracker showed Monroe County with a “substantial” level of community transmission of the coronavirus.
NEW: Employees at @ROCRegional, @UR_Med, Monroe Community Hospital and Monroe County Department of Public Health will need to be vaccinated for #COVID19 by 9/8, or undergo frequent regular COVID testing. @news10nbc— Jennifer Lewke (@WHEC_JLewke) August 2, 2021
While details vary slightly at each employer, the Monroe County Health Department of Public Health said they all have agreed on a common approach:
- Employees will be required to document their COVID vaccine status–vaccinated, choosing not to be vaccinated, approved medical exemption, or approved religious exemption.
- Soon after Sept. 8, unvaccinated employees will be required to undergo frequent regular COVID testing, wear masks indoors, and practice social distancing at work.
- Employees who decline to report their status or to undergo testing will face disciplinary consequences.
- Employees vaccinated after Sept. 8 can be released from the testing, masking, and distancing requirements once their fully vaccinated status is documented with the employer.
Last week, Gov. Cuomo said all patient-facing healthcare workers at state-run hospitals will have to get the vaccine and will not have a testing option.
URMC and RRH are not state-run.
This is the second major COVID-19-related announcement in the county Monday as it is now recommending everyone wear a mask while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. All county employees will be required to wear face masks or face coverings in public and common areas in all county-operated facilities beginning Tuesday, Aug. 3.
This is a developing story, stay with News10NBC for updates.