The opinion issued by the Supreme Court came as another opinion blocked a move by President Joe Biden’s administration to impose vaccine-or-testing requirements on other, non-health-care employers.
The move ends a suspension of vaccine policy at Prisma and follows the Supreme Court’s decision to permit a vaccine mandate on people employed at health-care facilities that receive federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid. That measure affects about 10 million workers.
Prisma has more than 30,000 employees across the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina. The company had imposed and then suspended a requirement of COVID vaccination for its employees as legal challenges were mounted to mandates from the Biden administration.
The private, nonprofit hospital system – South Carolina’s second-largest private company, according to Prisma – notified employees of its requirement in an email Thursday night.
“Prisma Health is committed to complying with all federal requirements. This includes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccination requirement for healthcare workers following the Jan. 13 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the requirement to move forward.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have encouraged COVID-19 vaccination for everyone who is eligible,” the email reads in part. “Prior to the legal challenges, Prisma Health had already achieved 93% compliance with the vaccine requirement.
“We are working to understand the full scope and timing of the requirement and will be implementing the appropriate protocols for compliance accordingly.”
A spokesperson for Prisma emailed a statement Friday confirming the plan to develop protocols in the days to come.
The Supreme Court opinions came out on the same day that doctors from the health-care system held a news conference where they described strain on resources and hospital employees from a surge in COVID cases because of the omicron variant. The surge has led to the highest number of hospitalizations at Prisma since the start of the pandemic. ‘Scary’:COVID hospitalizations reach new high at Prisma Health amid omicron surge in SC
Bon Secours St. Francis-Greenville on COVID vaccine mandate A spokesperson for Bon Secours St. Francis-Greenville, which similarly had suspended its vaccine requirement, referred Friday to a statement sent Thursday by the American Hospital Association.
“Now that the Supreme Court ruling has lifted the ban on the CMS vaccine mandate, the AHA will work with the hospital field to find ways to comply that balances that requirement with the need to retain a sufficient workforce to meet the needs of their patients,” the statement read, in part. This story will be updated. Check back for more.
Read more:Supreme Court blocks COVID-19 workplace vaccine mandate but lets medical rule stand Genna Contino covers Greenville County and housing for The Greenville News. Contact Genna at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @GennaContino. Subscribe to The Greenville News at greenvillenews.com/subscribe.
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