WAUWATOSA — Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, Children’s Wisconsin is now requiring all employees to be vaccinated against the virus - regardless if they are working in facilities or remotely.
The deadline for staff to be fully vaccinated is Nov. 15, 2021, Children’s said in a statement Thursday. However, they said a process has been established for people to request an accommodation or exemption "based on a medical condition, other disability or religious conviction."
All staff must be vaccinated, regardless if they provide direct patient care, work at a Children’s location or remotely. That includes all employees, physicians, other providers, learners, contractors and volunteers, Children’s said.
"The best protection for our children from the physical, mental and emotional impacts of COVID-19 is the timely vaccination of the community surrounding them. The mission of Children’s Wisconsin drives us to do everything in our power to protect the health and well-being of kids. The vaccine is safe, effective and continues to be the most powerful tool against COVID-19," said Mike Gutzeit, chief medical officer at Children’s Wisconsin.
This comes on the same day the Medical College of Wisconsin announced they too are requiring all employees to be vaccinated, with a deadline set at Nov. 1.
Also on Thursday, the City of Milwaukee Health Department issued new recommendations for residents, encouraging them to wear masks indoors - regardless of vaccination status. A mask mandate, however, has not been re-issued.
The seven-day average number of cases has surged in Wisconsin since late July. On Thursday, the daily average stands at 556 - the highest the average has been since early May, according to the state Department of Health Services.
In Milwaukee County, only 50 percent of residents are partially vaccinated, and 46 percent of residents are fully vaccinated, according to the DHS.