SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Another Massachusetts hospital system has announced that it will require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Springfield-based Baystate Health said Monday that the policy that takes effect Oct. 1 also applies to “those working remotely, clinical staff, contractors, volunteers, students, and those conducting business within our health system.”
About 75% of the system's workers are already fully vaccinated, President and CEO Mark Keroack said in a memo to employees.
“It is now time for the rest of us to do our part to ensure a safe work and care environment by getting vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.
The mandate comes as cases rise across the nation and the highly contagious delta variant spreads.
The system, with about 12,000 employees, operates Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, and Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer.
More details about the policy will be released in the future, including the process for requesting an exemption for religious or medical reasons. Employees who are pregnant may request a deferral, Baystate said.
Several other Massachusetts hospital systems, including Mass General Brigham, Beth Israel Lahey Health, and Wellforce, have previously announced employee vaccine mandates.