Wexner Medical Center to require COVID-19 vaccine for employees

The Lantern
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The Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State will require all students affiliated with the medical center, faculty and staff to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or provide an approved exemption by Oct. 15, a Tuesday press release stated. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo Editor

The Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State will require all students affiliated with the medical center, faculty and staff to receive either the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or provide an approved vaccine exemption before Oct. 15.

A Tuesday press release stated the new rule comes in response to the recent spread of COVID-19 and highly contagious evolving variants. The policy will also apply to those at The James, the College of Medicine and OSU Physicians, Inc.

“As health care providers, we know getting vaccinated is the best way to build immunity and to protect our patients, our colleagues, our families, and ourselves,” Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for health affairs at Ohio State and chief executive officer of the medical center, stated in the release. “We’re proud that more than 72% of our over 27,000 employees have already chosen to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health , as of Thursday, there are 975 positive COVID-19 cases in Franklin County.

In the month of June there were a total of 911 new COVID-19 cases in Franklin County, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard . The numbers increased to 1,839 COVID-19 cases in Franklin County during the month of July.

The state of Ohio saw 17,507 COVID-19 cases during July, which is 10,112 cases more than the 7,395 reported in June, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard .

According to the Ohio Department of Health , individuals who are not fully vaccinated make up nearly all COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state of Ohio.

Ohio State will now require students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status,  University President Kristina M. Johnson announced in a universitywide email Monday. She said the reinstatement of masks reflects the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance and will improve campus health and safety.

Students, faculty and staff are required to report their vaccination status to the university by Thursday.

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