WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Governor Hogan will now require state nursing homes and hospital staff to either show proof that they’ve been vaccinated or get frequent COVID-19 testing and screening.
The deadline for the healthcare facilities to comply is September 1st and if they don’t they can expect to get fined and penalized.
“We’re also doubling the fines and stepping up civil penalties,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
Some local hospitals are already following the governor’s protocols. Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown put the policy into play in June, giving its workers the same September 1st deadline to get vaccinated or face regular testing. Right now Meritus reports 80 percent of employees have been vaccinated.
“This is an obligation we have to our community that’s our mission that’s what we do in healthcare no matter where you work,” said Maulik Joshi President and CEO of Meritus Health.
Fahrney Keedy, a nursing home in Boonsboro says they back the protocols too after seeing multiple people at their facility get sick from a COVID outbreak earlier this year.
“We had over 90 residents that actually contracted COVID here at our facility and 150 staff members got COVID. We don’t want to repeat that,” stated Stephen Coetzee President and CEO of Fahrney Keedy Senior Living Community.
Fahrney Keedy’ already has over 80 percent of staff vaccinated and says they’re trying to eliminate the need for testing at all by requiring their staff to get the vaccine.
“We only allow exceptions for medical or for religious exemption and we do have a committee that meets to go through exemption requests,” Coetzee explained.
President Biden also announced on Wednesday that nursing homes will need to have all staff vaccinated
against COVID-19 in order to continue getting federal funding.
Staff will be required to get at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the September 1st deadline.