Across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects. We appreciate how much each of you have already done to adapt during these challenging times. As you know, we have been taking preventive measures at InspirationField against COVID-19 for the last 18 months to help keep you, our entire staff, your families, and the individuals we support and their families safe. We have worked under some uncertain and often exhausting conditions and YOU have helped make it possible for us to continue our essential operations! Thank you!
As I have publicly stated to each of you before, I won't mandate the COVID-19 vaccination, unless the government ties the vaccination mandate to our funding. I believe the COVID-19 vaccination is a matter of everyone’s personal choice. As you may be aware, the State and Federal governments are actively and quickly working on mandating the vaccination for all employees working in the healthcare industry and that looks to become a reality very soon in all of Colorado.
On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, Governor Polis urged the State Board of Health to quickly engage in a rulemaking to require the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine for personnel staffing vulnerable populations and places where people receive essential medical care. Governor Polis now plans to meet with the State Health Board on Monday, August 30th to urge rulemaking to require the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine for personnel staffing at-risk populations and places where people receive essential medical care. If passed, healthcare agencies across the state would be required to have all staff receive their first vaccination shot by September 30, 2021. As of now, the state is still planning to leave in a provision for staff for medical or religious exemptions from receiving the vaccine.
Governor Polis Urges State Board of Health to Engage in Expedited Rulemaking to Require COVID-19 Vaccine for All Personnel Working Directly with Colorado’s Vulnerable Populations & Settings Where Coloradans Receive Essential Medical Care
Also, on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, President Joe Biden announced that his administration will require that nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. We believe this mandate will be extended to our Inspiration Field facilities because we receive Medicare/Medicaid funding.
In a meeting that I attended virtually late last week with other CCB's and service providers from across the state of Colorado, we were told to begin preparing staff for the vaccination mandate. I completely understand that people are on both sides of the coin when it comes to taking the Covid vaccination. However, should the state and feds pass rules to mandate the vaccination, we will be forced to implement their rulemaking should we wish to receive their state and federal funding or risk going out of business.
Whatever you do, please do NOT panic and make knee-jerk reactions regarding your employment with Inspiration Field based on this courtesy, heads-up announcement. Please conduct your own research on the various Covid vaccinations. Yesterday, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved the Pfizer vaccine. As such, the Pfizer Covid vaccination is no longer considered a "test" vaccination. In the future, both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson plan to obtain full license approval from the FDA for their respective Covid vaccines as well.
I ask that each of you please stick with us through this next wave of government mandates and we will get through this together. For what it's worth, I do not intend to terminate any employment opportunities for those staff that still decline the vaccination once the rules are implemented without speaking with each employee individually and implementing some type of transition planning. However, by getting vaccinated, you can serve as a role model in your community and can positively influence vaccination decisions of coworkers, individuals in service, families, and friends.
I want each of you to feel confident in your decision to get vaccinated. I welcome any questions you may have and can be reached at cell (719) 469-8750. Thank you again for all you are doing to keep the individuals and yourselves safe and healthy.