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Several Kentucky Hospitals Commit To Vaccinating Their Healthcare Workers

Stu Johnson

Several Kentucky hospital systems are committing to seeing virtually all their healthcare workers vaccinated against coronavirus over the next couple months.    Governor Beshear is asking other private sector businesses outside of healthcare to do the same.

Hospital groups like UK, U of L, St. Joseph, and Baptist Health are joining together requiring their employees to initiate vaccination by mid-September.  Appalachian Regional Healthcare CEO Hollie Harris Phillips was among those lending her voice to the cause in the Capitol rotunda. “Most of the time we’re competing for business with one another.  However today, we stand here together committed to vaccinating our workforce,” said Harris Phillips. 

Phillips went on to say hospital officials believe the vaccine is, quote, “our hope and our tool to protect our patients, our staff, and our families.”   

Governor Beshear announced Thursday executive branch employees who can show proof of vaccination will be awarded an additional day of vacation. 

Governor Beshear said possible mandates, in areas like masking and capacity restrictions, are not off the table.  But, he indicated any such decision would be based on hospital capacity concerns. 

Kentucky’s one-day peak of coronavirus cases came early this year at well over 5000 cases.  Currently the Commonwealth is seeing about 2000 cases a day.  State Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack said the current Delta variant spread could rival that.   “Is it possible we’re going to reach those peaks.  Absolutely it’s possible.  Is it possible we’re going to exceed those peaks in terms of cases.  Absolutely that is possible.  And at the rate we’re going it won’t take that long.  It will happen in August,” explained Stack. 

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