The MemorialCare health system, which operates four major hospitals in Orange and Los Angeles counties and other smaller facilities in the region, announced Wednesday, Aug. 4, it will require all of its workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of September, citing an “alarming” rise in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in recent weeks and the spread of the delta variant.
In a news release announcing the directive, MemorialCare CEO Barry Arbuckle noted that the number of the hospital system’s employees who are vaccinated already is high, and, “to secure a deep and lasting impact, it is critical to have everyone on board,” he said.
The vast majority of workers at MemorialCare’s hospitals have gotten the jab, according to federal data. Only 5% of workers had not been vaccinated at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Long Beach as of July 16, the data shows. And at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, just 4.7% hadn’t gotten the shot.
Fewer than 2% remained unvaccinated at MemorialCare’s Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills and Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, according to the data.
The hospital system, which also operates more than 200 other health care sites in the region, set a date of Sept. 30 for its unvaccinated staffers to get their shots.
The announcement comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom last week said the state would mandate all healthcare workers to show proof of vaccination or get tested regularly. MemorialCare’s notice appears to go a step further, requiring full vaccination, or obtaining a medical or religious exemption.
“Our communities, patients, families and local businesses depend upon us to ensure the highest quality, safest and healthiest environment,” Arbuckle said in the news release. “We owe that same obligation to our employees and physicians.”
Staff Writer Teri Sforza contributed to this report.
Source: Orange County Register