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Lake Charles Memorial Requiring COVID-19 Vaccine or Weekly Testing for Employees

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All of southwest Louisiana is currently experiencing a spike in the number of COVID-19 patients being hospitalized and seeking treatment. Acute care units, emergency rooms, intensive care units and urgent cares are being overwhelmed.

The pandemic came to Louisiana in March of 2020 and, since then, has been ever evolving. Currently, the best fight against COVID-19 when it comes to transmission, hospitalizations and death is vaccination. For this reason, since the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval from the FDA, Memorial is requiring all employees (full-time, part-time, PRN) contract workers, nursing and allied health students, and vendors to become fully vaccinated by October 29, 2021 or be required to submit to weekly PCR tests. Currently, 60 percent of Memorial employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

“As healthcare leaders we need to set the tone for our community, while doing all we can to ensure we have the staff and capabilities to deliver healthcare to southwest Louisiana,” says Devon Hyde, President and CEO of Lake Charles Memorial Health System. “We can clearly see from our real-world data of hospitalizations that vaccination helps tremendously in keeping patients out of the hospital, and preventing death from COVID-19.”

This requirement comes with unanimous support from the Administration Team, Board of Directors and Medical Executive Committee as a result of accumulating evidence that has shown the vaccine to be safe and effective per FDA approval. Lake Charles Memorial Health System joins numerous other healthcare institutions across the country in this requirement.

“It is the right thing to do, ensuring we are doing everything possible to keep our employees safe, protected and to maintain a healthy workforce to serve our community,” says Mr. Hyde.