Effective Monday, September 27, all healthcare workers need to have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or provide an approved medical or religious exemption.
Robert Mayo, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Rochester Regional Health, joined Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Michael Mendoza, MD, on Thursday, September 23 to discuss the situation at hand and what the future holds.
If a healthcare worker does not meet the vaccination guidelines, they will no longer be eligible to work at a Rochester Regional Health facility. This is not a Rochester Regional Health policy; it is a mandate established by New York State.
The vast majority of employees at the five Rochester Regional hospitals – Rochester General Hospital, Unity Hospital, United Memorial Medical Center, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, and Clifton-Springs Hospital & Clinic – are already vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I am very proud of the vaccination rates of Rochester Regional Health employees,” Dr. Mayo said. “Those rates have been rising day by day over the last few weeks and they continue to rise. I am pleased to say that Rochester Regional Health will be reaching very high percentages nearing 100 percent for employees.”
Rochester Regional has granted exemptions based on New York State regulations and will continue to review exemptions as they are submitted.
At each Rochester Regional Health facility, our teams are working hard to ensure there will be no interruption of critical or essential healthcare needs. Most elective surgeries will continue as scheduled.
Staffing levels in healthcare have been a challenge for months leading up to the pandemic. The last 18-24 months have exacerbated that challenge. Stress and burnout throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to healthcare providers leaving the healthcare field. Our recruitment teams are working tirelessly to hire the qualified employees needed.
During this transition, there may be periods of time when patients experience delays at some of our care sites due to staffing challenges. Some patient laboratory and pathology centers may have changes in hours or available locations.
As an integrated health care delivery system, leaders and employees with Rochester Regional Health will work together on a day-to-day basis to cross-collaborate and redeploy staff when necessary to ensure all essential services are maintained.
“Thousands of our healthcare workers have valiantly served this community for the last 18-24 months,” Dr. Mayo said. “They have truly shown their commitment through long hours of work and self-sacrifice. Without them, we would be in a much different place than we are today.”
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