State mandates weekly testing for unvaccinated health care workers
On Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced all health care workers will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing. At Asante, that means all employees, not just those with direct patient care.
“To be clear, this is not a mandate by Asante to get vaccinated,” said Scott Kelly, Asante president and CEO. “Employees still have a choice to either receive the vaccine or be tested on a regular basis.”
The Oregon Health Authority issued the new rule, which takes effect on Sept. 30. That gives unvaccinated employees almost two months to get fully vaccinated before they would be subject to weekly testing.
“We are looking at all our options on how to make this new rule operational,” said Robert Begg, vice president of Human Resources. “The logistics of getting employees tested regularly, such as where, when and how, still need to be worked out. We want to make this as convenient and hassle-free for everyone.”
The governor’s decision comes as the number of daily COVID-19 cases is at an all-time high at Asante and in Oregon. On Monday, Asante recorded 125 COVID-positive inpatients — the highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, about 90% are unvaccinated.
There is no cost to employees for getting vaccinated or tested for COVID-19. Employees can walk-in for vaccination at all three of our urgent care clinics and family medicine offices. In Ashland, walk-ins are available at APP’s 560 Catalina clinic. Vaccinations can also be scheduled through MyChart.
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