Covenant reviewing policies after Supreme Court ruling on COVID-19 vaccine mandates

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Covenant Health officials say they're reviewing how to move forward after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the Biden Administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on healthcare workers to continue, while U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington condemned the decision as harmful to the healthcare industry.

While the Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the OSHA COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with over 100 employees, it upheld the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

Soon after the Biden Administration announced the mandate, Covenant Health in November released a statement confirming it would comply with the federal policy and require its employees to show proof of vaccination. But by early December, as the policy was facing challenges in federal, Covenant announced it was pausing its requirement for employee COVID-19 vaccinations pending a Supreme Court ruling.

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Covenant Health
Covenant Health

On Thursday, Covenant Health released a brief statement confirming it's evaluating its policies and adding it will release more information and guidance in the near future.

"We are carefully reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on the CMS rule requiring healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19," the statement reads. "After our review is complete, we will provide more guidance about the steps that caregivers working at facilities across the Providence family of organizations, including Covenant Health, need to take in order to comply with these federal rules. We appreciate your patience. We will be communicating with you more in the coming days with more specific information and instructions."

A spokesperson for UMC Health System said UMC was still reviewing the decisions Thursday and was not yet ready to comment on the matter.

Arrington, R-Lubbock, said he's been opposed to what he called the Biden Administration’s overreaching vaccine mandates.

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U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington
U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington

"While I applaud SCOTUS for rejecting the Administration’s unconstitutional mandate on private companies, I am incredibly disappointed in the Court’s decision to allow vaccine mandates on healthcare workers," Arrington said. “At a time when healthcare worker shortages are disrupting access to critical care, it is dangerous to impose mandates that will cause mass resignations and terminations. This mandate will upend our healthcare system at a time when we need it most.”

“If these mandates were truly about public health or protecting our communities, President Biden wouldn’t be letting millions of untested illegal immigrants flood into our country. It’s about control. Forcing people with an ultimatum to receive a vaccine or lose their livelihoods is un-American.”

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Covenant Health reviewing policies after Supreme Court COVID opinion

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