Cheyenne hospital: Get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing

By: 
Wyoming News Exchange

Cheyenne hospital: Get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing

 

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Cheyenne Regional Medical Center CEO Tim Thornell told hospital staff Monday night by email they will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly to continue working there. 

The announcement wasn’t a surprise, since Thornell has been telling employees for weeks that CRMC was prepared to implement such a policy, if needed. 

But it came on the heels of a federal judge’s decision earlier Monday to block President Joe Biden’s administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate on thousands of health care workers in 10 states that had brought the first legal challenge against the requirement. Wyoming was one of the states to challenge the mandate. 

The court order said the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for providers participating in the two government health care programs for the elderly, disabled and poor. 

In his email, Thornell told local hospital staff, “Our Board of Trustees and Executive Team believe and support the COVID-19 vaccine as an effective means of reducing severity of illness, hospitalization and death. We also value all of our team members and believe our Cheyenne Regional vaccine policy places both patient care and employees first.” 

That said, though, employees who choose not to be vaccinated “can elect to get weekly tested in lieu of vaccination,” according to the email. “For ease of implementation, we will continue with the dates of Dec. 6 for your first vaccination and Jan. 4 for being completely vaccinated,” Thornell said in the email. “If you are not vaccinated, we will need to begin the weekly testing process. This plan will immediately replace the CMS plan, and remain in effect until further notice.” 

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