DuBois, Pennsylvania – A protest rally is planned outside Penn Highlands DuBois this Friday by those concerned about the vaccine requirement for anyone working at the hospital.
Organizers call it a “medical freedom rally of choice.”
Participants plan to meet on Friday, November 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Penn Highlands DuBois Hospital.
If you participate, you are reminded to stay only on public sidewalks. Do not block the streets or entrances to the hospital. Please keep calm.
Our report on vaccine needs at Penn Highlands and the Penn Highlands Healthcare press release earlier this month:
DuBois, Pennsylvania – Penn Highlands Healthcare says they will comply with federal vaccine mandate, requiring all their healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, unless they qualify for an exemption medical or religious. This warrant does not allow for weekly testing instead of vaccination.
This mandate applies only to healthcare workers and non-employees who work within the healthcare system, such as student interns and vendors. It does not apply to patients and their families who visit the hospital, although they are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and must wear a mask.
Penn Highlands has not indicated whether any employees will be discharged from the hospital due to the requirement.
On November 4, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued emergency regulations requiring all healthcare workers to be fully immunized against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022.
This federal mandate addresses the risk unvaccinated healthcare workers pose to patient safety and aims to ensure the stability and consistency of US healthcare systems. This mandate is separate from the vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which applies to companies with 100 or more employees and allows testing instead of vaccination.
Penn Highlands Healthcare is required to follow the CMS Mandate and publishes policies that apply to all employees in the system. To ensure the health and safety of staff, patients and visitors, all PHH employees must be fully immunized by January 4, 2022, unless they are eligible for a medical or religious exemption. The CMS vaccination mandate does not allow for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination.
The federal vaccine mandate also applies to people who deal with the health care system, including unemployed physicians, students, interns, salespeople, consultants, construction and outside workers, delivery staff, pharmaceutical representatives, etc. Proof of vaccination will be required upon entry to a facility.
The federal mandate does not apply to patients and their families; However, they are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and, according to Pennsylvania regulations, must wear a mask when in a healthcare facility.
Penn Highlands Healthcare continues to offer convenient vaccination clinics in Clearfield, DuBois, Huntingdon, Monongahela and St. Marys.