CRH, Schneck to require full vaccination of employees, volunteers

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Two hospitals in the Columbus area have said they will comply with a federal vaccine mandate for healthcare workers and are now requiring all employees and volunteers to be fully vaccinated.

In a joint statement Tuesday, Columbus Regional Health and Schneck Medical Center in Seymour said all employees, medical staff, students, volunteers and contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

Those opting to get a two-dose vaccine will have to provide proof of having received their first dose or proof of a valid exemption by Dec. 5 — in 12 days — to meet the timeline laid out in the federal mandate, according to the statement. Those who decide to get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine must do so by Dec. 5.

The announcement comes nearly three weeks after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a federal rule requiring healthcare workers at facilities that receive funding under the Medicare or Medicaid programs to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

Hospitals that do not comply with the rule could face termination from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Unlike a separate federal mandate on businesses with at least 100 employees, healthcare workers do not have the option of weekly testing if they decide not to get vaccinated, the rule states.

“The majority of patients served by Columbus Regional Health and Schneck Medical Center are covered by Medicare or Medicaid,” the two hospitals said in the statement. “It is imperative our organizations remain a provider in these programs so we can continue to provide care to our communities.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.