Essentia Health, joining Sanford Health, will require COVID vaccine as condition of employment

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health’s patients and communities have counted on us for support, protection and to continue providing the high-quality care they deserve. That responsibility is a privilege, and it demands that we do all we can to keep our patients safe.

Accordingly, after careful consideration, Essentia will require all staff members to be vaccinated against COVID as a condition of their employment. Vaccination also will be required as a condition of entering our facilities to perform services for Essentia Health. Employees must receive their first dose of vaccine by Oct. 1 and their second dose in a two-dose series by Nov. 1. There will be a process for requesting a medical exemption based on CDC guidelines or a religious exemption.

This policy affects all of our employees, including remote workers, along with volunteers, students, non-employed medical staff, Board members and others who provide services within our facilities.

Essentia is proud of the work we’ve done to vaccinate our communities. That includes close to 200,000 doses administered since late December 2020. Because of their proven effectiveness at preventing COVID-19, vaccines remain the safest and surest way out of this public health crisis. With community transmission on the rise across our region due to the contagious delta variant, the need for vaccination continues to be crucial.

Our patients entrust their care to us in some of the most vulnerable times in their lives. They depend on us to be vaccinated to help keep them safe. Thus, vaccination is especially important for our health care workers whose duty it is to protect vulnerable, elderly and critically ill patients. We believe it’s an important way for our colleagues to live our mission of making a healthy difference in the communities we serve.