Altru and CHI to require COVID-19 vaccination for employees

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

Devils Lake – In following with other states hospitals COVID protocols, CHI St. Alexius  and Altru Health System announced to protect its staff and the community against the continued spread of COVID-19, both organizations will be requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated. 

CHI has said they will require all employees to be vaccinated by November 1, while Altru has given employees until November 15, 2021.

CHI has said they will require all employees to be vaccinated by November 1.

“The past 18 months have been particularly challenging for our healthcare team as we’ve faced the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Dr. Steven Weiser, Altru’s President. “As we see the increase in variants across the country and an initial rise in cases in our community, it is imperative that we maximize the safety of our staff, patients and our community by requiring vaccination of our team.”

St Alexius put out a press release saying that in keeping with their mission of improving the health of those it serves and especially those who are vulnerable, and our commitment to providing safe care for patients and a safe work environment for clinicians and staff, they were requiring all physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, volunteers, and others caring for patients within our facility to be vaccinated.

"As health care providers we have a responsibility to help end this pandemic and protect our patients, our colleagues, and those in our communities," CHI said in their statement. "Requiring vaccination for our teams is critical to maintaining a safe care environment. Medical and religious exemptions will be available for those who qualify.

According to Altru, employees can request an exemption for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Those who have an approved exemption will be required to complete education modules, undergo regular testing for COVID19 and follow other safety measures deemed necessary to maximize a safe environment of care. All Altru staff are required to wear face coverings and follow further safety protocols.

“Altru’s purpose is to provide the safest and most high-quality care,” shared Dr. Weiser. “As healthcare professionals, we also serve as role models in our community. We know vaccines are safe, effective, and vitally important to saving lives and eliminating COVID-19. While we move forward with a requirement for our staff to become vaccinated, we also urge our community to follow suit. As we face another potential surge in our community, it is vitally important to protect our healthcare team and ensure we provide the safest care for our patients.”

 Over one hundred health systems across the country are choosing vaccination due to rising cases of COVID-19, low vaccination rates and the pending threat of variants. People who have not been vaccinated are at higher risk of severe disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 99.5% of hospital deaths in the U.S. are from unvaccinated individuals. Those who are unvaccinated also are at higher risk of transmitting disease to others