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Group Health Cooperative mandates vaccines for employees

Group Health Cooperative mandates vaccines for employees

Employees of Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the nonprofit health care provider announced Thursday.

Individuals line up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a community clinic held June 8 at Hiawatha Residence Hall in Wisconsin Dells.

More than 90% of Group Health’s 800 employees have already received the vaccine, the provider said in a statement.

“We have an obligation to not only provide the safest possible environment for our patients but also to lead by example,” said Dr. Mark Huth, Group Health’s president and chief executive officer.

“We adopted this policy to safeguard the health of our employees, their families and, of course, our members, patients and the communities we live in from infectious diseases that vaccinations are proven to reduce,” Huth said.

Employees will have until Nov. 1 to get at least one dose of the vaccine unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

Group Health joins a growing list of local health care providers, employers and governments that are mandating vaccination as the delta variant leads to more COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. UnityPoint Health-Meriter, UW Health and Ascension Wisconsin all mandated vaccines earlier this month. St. Louis-based SSM Health, which owns St. Mary’s hospitals in Madison and Janesville and St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, did so in late June.

Other health care organizations that have announced vaccination mandates for workers include Children’s Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin and ProHealth Care.

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