MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Health System COVID vaccine mandate has been changed several times, but on Friday, WVU Medicine announced the required vaccination date for all of its employees.
The requirement was first announced in August 2021 with an Oct. 31 deadline, but just before the deadline, the date was pushed back to January. In December, the mandate was put on pause completely as two federal district courts issued orders that temporarily prohibited the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from enforcing its new requirement that all healthcare providers vaccinate their employees against COVID-19. But last week, the Supreme Court upheld the CMS mandate requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for an estimated 20 million healthcare workers. Now, with the federal go-ahead on the mandate restored, the WVU Medicine vaccination date has been pushed back again.
As part of its weekly communication with employees, WVU Health System sent the following updated COVID requirements.
All employees, physicians, licensed independent practitioners, residents, volunteers, students, trainees, contractors, and vendors across the WVU Health System are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption has been granted as an accommodation, by the following dates:
- Feb. 28, 2022: For healthcare workers at WVU Medicine facilities located in Pennsylvania and Maryland
- March 15, 2022: For healthcare workers at WVU Medicine facilities located in West Virginia and Ohio
To be considered fully vaccinated, an employee or healthcare worker needs to have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the J&J vaccine. Booster shots are strongly encouraged but not a requirement at this time, according to the release. As of Jan. 21, 97% of WVU Medicine staff were fully vaccinated.
Any new hire who starts on or after Jan. 31, 2022, who isn’t approved for a medical or religious exemption will be required to receive at least one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the J&J vaccine by their start date. However, any new hire in West Virginia who starts on or after March 15 will be required to be fully vaccinated before starting their new role.
Existing employees and new hires who are not yet fully vaccinated, and unvaccinated employees who have been granted a medical or religious exemption, are required to wear a fit-tested, NIOSH-approved N95 mask or equivalent or higher-level respirator for source control at all times while at work.