Massachusetts to mandate COVID vaccination for long-term care staff
Massachusetts announced Wednesday that most nursing home workers will be required be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Oct. 10.
Driving the news: The requirement comes as cases driven by the Delta variant rise across the U.S. and Massachusetts reported 883 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
- The state has 378 nursing facilities, as well as the two long-term care facilities for veterans in Massachusetts. As of Aug. 2, 155 facilities had less than 75% of their staff fully vaccinated.
The big picture: The mandate applies to “all individuals employed directly or by contract” at long-term care facilities. Unvaccinated workers must get at least one dose by Sept. 1, and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 10.
- Workers can request an exemption for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs.
- The requirement is meant to “strengthen infection control and protect vulnerable residents.”
What they're saying: “Today’s actions reinforce the state’s commitment to ensuring the safety and care for these residents, some of our most vulnerable residents,” a statement from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's office said.