Monument Health implements vaccination requirements

RAPID CITY, SD (AP) – Monument Health joins dozens of other health systems across the country, including Sanford Health and Avera Health, in demanding that its doctors and caregivers be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Rapid City-based system includes five hospitals and 38 medical clinics and specialty centers. His vaccination obligation begins on December 1.

“We are grateful for all the hard work and heroism that our doctors and caregivers have shown throughout this pandemic. We look forward to the day when COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our healthcare teams, patients and communities, ”said Brad Archer, Chief Medical Officer of Monument. “The only way to do this is to get vaccinated. “

Monument Health, like other health care systems, will consider exemption requests for specific conditions and religious beliefs.

The highly transmissible Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has spread rapidly in western South Dakota. West River’s number of new weekly coronavirus cases nearly tripled in three weeks, with Monument Health treating a record number of hospital patients.

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“Every day we see the damage this virus is doing to patients,” Archer added. “As healthcare professionals, we owe it to our communities to do all we can to contain and control COVID-19. And extensive studies show vaccines are safe and effective. “

Monument Health said that of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients, about 82% are unvaccinated. Among those receiving care at the intensive care level, 91% are not vaccinated and among patients on ventilators, 88% are not vaccinated.

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