Lake Charles Memorial to require COVID vaccine or weekly testing for employees

((Source: KPLC))
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 2:34 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles Memorial Health System is requiring all employees to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 29 or be required to submit to weekly COVID tests, said Matt Felder of Lake Charles Memorial.

The mandate applies to all employees as well as contract workers, nursing and allied health students, and vendors, Felder said.

This decision comes after the Pfizer vaccine received full approval from the FDA. Sixty percent of Lake Charles Memorial employees are already fully vaccinated against COVID, Felder said.

The requirement comes with unanimous support from the Administration Team, Board of Directors and Medical Executive Committee as a result of accumulating evidence that has shown the vaccine to be safe and effective per FDA approval, Felder said.

All of southwest Louisiana is currently experiencing a spike in the number of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized and seeking treatment, Felder said. Acute care units, emergency rooms, intensive care units and urgent cares are being overwhelmed.

“As healthcare leaders we need to set the tone for our community, while doing all we can to ensure we have the staff and capabilities to deliver healthcare to southwest Louisiana,” said Devon Hyde, President and CEO of Lake Charles Memorial Health System. “We can clearly see from our real-world data of hospitalizations that vaccination helps tremendously in keeping patients out of the hospital, and preventing death from COVID-19.”

“It is the right thing to do, ensuring we are doing everything possible to keep our employees safe, protected and to maintain a healthy workforce to serve our community,” Hyde said.

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