DuBois, PA – A protest rally is planned for outside of Penn Highlands DuBois this Friday by those who are concerned about the vaccine requirement for anyone working at the hospital.

Organizers are calling it a “medical freedom of choice rally”.

Participants plan to meet on Friday, Nov. 19 from 2 until 4 p.m. at the Penn Highlands DuBois Hospital.

If participating, you’re reminded to stay on just on the public sidewalks. Do not block streets or the hospital entrances. Please remain peaceful.

 

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Our news story about the vaccine requirement at Penn Highlands and the press release from Penn Highlands Healthcare earlier this month:

 

DuBois, PA – Penn Highlands Healthcare says they will comply with the federal vaccine mandate, requiring all of their healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Jan. 4 unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption. This mandate does not allow for weekly testing instead of vaccination.

This mandate only applies to healthcare workers and non-employees who conduct business within the health system, such as student interns and vendors. It does not apply to patients and their families who are visiting the hospital, although they are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and must wear a mask.

Penn Highlands has not stated if any employees will be leaving the hospital because of the requirement.

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On November 4, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) issued an emergency regulation requiring all healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022.

This federal mandate addresses the risk unvaccinated healthcare workers present to patient safety and is intended to provide stability and uniformity among the U.S. healthcare systems. This mandate is separate from the vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which applies to companies with 100 employees or more and allows testing in lieu of vaccination.

Penn Highlands Healthcare is required to follow the CMS mandate and is issuing policies that apply to all employees system wide. To ensure the health and safety of staff, patients and visitors, all PHH employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022 unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption. The CMS vaccine mandate does not allow for weekly testing in lieu of vaccination.

The federal vaccine mandate also applies to individuals who conduct business with the health system including non-employed physicians, students, interns, vendors, consultants, construction and outside laborers, delivery personnel, 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 be vaccinated, and according to Pennsylvania regulations, must wear a mask when in a healthcare facility.

Penn Highlands Healthcare continues to offer convenient vaccine clinics in Clearfield, DuBois, Huntingdon, Monongahela and St. Marys.