COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for all Caregivers

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COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for all Caregivers

Monday, August 16, 2021

Centra Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for all Caregivers

Lynchburg, VA.- Centra announced today its decision to require all 7,600 Caregivers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1st. While many factors contributed to this decision, Centra’s top priority is to keep all patients, Caregivers, and the broader communities safe. Now, as the region faces another surge of COVID-19 cases, bold action is needed.

“As a regional healthcare provider, it is our responsibility to take a stand and do our part to protect those who place their trust in us,” said Richard Tugman, Interim Centra President, and Chief Executive Officer. “We feel a deep commitment to setting the example.”

Lynchburg and the surrounding metro area have the second-lowest vaccination rate in the Commonwealth at the current time. Increasing rates of COVID-19 are often closely linked to areas with low vaccination rates. The region’s vaccination rate is hovering around 35.6%, which is well below the target rate of 70% to combat COVID-19 effectively. As the largest employer in this geographic area, Centra’s vaccination rates greatly impact the ability to limit community spread.

“We recognize the profound truth that getting vaccinated is the single most effective tool in slowing and even stopping the spread of this virus,” said Chris Lewis, M.D., Centra Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer. “By taking this step, we are further protecting the health of our Caregivers, patients, and community.”

After careful consideration and input from diverse and representative groups across the organization and in consultation with national, regional, and state healthcare officials, all Caregivers, including medical staff and contractors, must receive their first dose by October 1st, 2021. Caregivers may receive their COVID vaccine through onsite Centra clinics, personal providers, local pharmacies, or facilities of their choice. Exemptions will be permitted for certain religious beliefs or medical conditions.

As Caregivers, Centra is focused on healing. Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is one way Centra can continue to provide the healing necessary for our communities to stop the spread of this virus. This vaccine requirement, paired with ongoing mask requirements and social distancing within facilities, helps ensure Centra does its part in protecting the communities they serve.