Piedmont Healthcare and Virtua Health enact mandates requiring their employees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey.
- Florida: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Florida's surgeon general, Scott Rivkees, over a state law that went into effect July 1 banning businesses from requiring "vaccine passports" or checking customers' vaccination status. The company argued the ban violates federal law, including the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and the lawsuit is a "last resort" to ensure it can continue to operate safely. The lawsuit comes after a federal judge last month rules that CDC's pandemic-related health and safety restrictions regarding cruise ships were an overreach of power and temporarily barred them from being enforced. (Castronuovo, The Hill, 7/13; Schulz, USA Today, 7/13)
- Georgia: Piedmont Healthcare will require its management, physicians, providers, and new employees—excluding those who are exempt—to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by September 1, according to Becker's Hospital Review. The organization plans to extend this requirement to its over 23,000 workers in the near future. In a statement, the health system said its mandate is in line with its current policy of "requiring proof of vaccination or titers confirming immunity to Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella for new employees and in requiring the annual flu vaccine for all current employees." (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 7/13)
- New Jersey: Virtua Health announced on Monday that it will require its more than 14,000 employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by September 15. Currently, the majority of Virtua Health's employees are fully vaccinated, but the health system said it aims to increase vaccinations to protect its workers and help end the pandemic. Requests for exemptions will be considered based on religious beliefs or medical conditions, and CDC safety protocols will continue to be followed regardless of vaccination status. Employees who do not comply with the mandate will face disciplinary action that may include termination. (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 7/12)