WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital (Source: WellSpan Health)
WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital (Source: WellSpan Health)

WellSpan Health has announced that all staff must be vaccinated against Covid-19, in accordance with federal requirements.

"All team members are required to receive their first dose by Dec. 1, with second doses received by Jan. 5, 2022," the health system said in a statement.

"Exceptions will be granted for religious and medical reasons," it added.

WellSpan's facilities include WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Lancaster County. The mandate was first reported by LNP newspaper.

In early September, President Biden announced a Covid-19 strategy that included mandatory vaccination for employees at Medicare- and Medicaid certified hospitals and health care facilities.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are expected to issue guidance spelling out the details of the mandate later this month. Some health care organizations are choosing to hold off on a mandate until then.

Lancaster County's largest health care system, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, implemented a mandate with full vaccination required by Sept. 1. Prior to the mandate, about two-thirds of employees had been vaccinated.

UPMC, which operates UPMC Lititz Hospital, has not yet imposed a Covid-19 vaccine requirement on employees.

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