Through careful discernment and consultation with leadership and clinicians throughout our health care system, and as a reflection of our mission and values, CommonSpirit Health will make the COVID-19 vaccine a condition of employment for all employees, including employees who work at non-care sites, those who do not provide direct patient care, and those who work remotely.
This requirement also includes all physicians, Advanced Practice Providers, volunteers and others caring for our patients within our facilities. Verification of full vaccination is required by November 1, 2021. Some states in our footprint will meet this requirement sooner or through their own state guidelines.
We are charged with caring for the most vulnerable among us. Our greatest defense against the pandemic is vaccination, and that is what we must do to protect one another and our communities, though this decision was not made lightly. We are safer vaccinated than we are unvaccinated.
We are not the first to prioritize the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for employees. States across our footprint are now requiring COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers. Today, we stand strong, linked arm-in-arm, with our medical community and other health care providers to champion COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers.
Since the pandemic began, as a health ministry and as individuals, we have taken every available precaution to help protect the health and safety of one another in our workplace, and our communities.
As an organization, CommonSpirit has made data-driven decisions. We have worn masks, remained physically distanced from each other, performed symptoms check upon facility entry, reported to work when others could not, and stayed home when unwell so others could safely perform their duties. We did this all through an unwavering call to serve, despite exhaustion and despite fear. But we are far from being finished.
Due to the highly-aggressive Delta variant, over 1800 patients are currently being treated for COVID-19 infection across our ministry, quadrupling in just one month. We expect the rate to continue to increase in the coming weeks.
Religious and medical exemptions will be available to those who qualify, and more information on this process will be shared locally. We have also notified our labor unions that we intend to apply this policy to union-represented employees.
Soon, you will have your first opportunity to disclose your vaccination status to meet this requirement. Please monitor your inbox for more information.
It is vital that we all continue to remain vigilant in masking, physical distancing, and handwashing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
At a time when so much is asked of you, thank you for all that you continue to do in the spirit of our mission and in service to others.