Asante lifts employee COVID-19 vaccination requirement
More than three years after the start of the pandemic, the last of the COVID-19 restrictions has been lifted. Effective June 19, Asante employees no longer are required to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV2.
The move follows the Oregon Health Authority’s decision in April to halt mandatory vaccination for health care workers and the federal government’s announcement in May that it would stop enforcing the rule.
Asante instituted mandatory vaccination in October 2021 to comply with both federal and state requirements.
Lifting the rule means that:
- Vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer a condition of employment at Asante.
- Asante’s COVID-19 vaccination policy will be archived.
- All other policies, materials and job postings referencing the vaccination requirement will be updated.
- Employees with a vaccination exception will have those exceptions removed.
CMS still requires health care organizations to track COVID-19 vaccination compliance as it does with flu vaccination. With COVID-19 now considered to be endemic, Asante Infection Prevention will determine the rules on masking for unvaccinated workers during times of peak COVID transmission as it does during flu season.
Likewise, employees who test positive for COVID-19 or who have symptoms of illness must still follow Asante Employee Health’s return-to-work requirements.
Asante ended Universal Pandemic Precautions and source-control masking within all its medical facilities on April 3. That decision followed the OHA’s ruling to end masking requirements for health care settings and OSHA’s decision to follow suit.
“We recognize the challenges these mandates placed on some of our employees,” said Holly Nickerson, DNP, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety. “While patient safety continues to be our top priority, we look forward to building on what we’ve learned over the past three years as we continue our recovery.”
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