Employees in seven MercyOne hospitals in Iowa notified Covid shots are required

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa

Staff in seven MercyOne hospitals in Iowa must get the Covid vaccine by this fall. Employees and contractors hired to work in the facilities must show proof they’ve been vaccinated by September 21.

The mandate applies to MercyOne hospitals in Clinton, Dubuque, Dyersville, Mason City, New Hampton, Primghar and Sioux City as well as the health clinics associated with those hospitals.

The vaccination requirement comes from Trinity Health, the parent company for 90 U.S. hospitals in 22 states. The company estimates nearly 75% of its national workforce has had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Trinity Health’s president says now that there’s a proven way to prevent Covid-19 deaths, the health system is doing its part by requiring employees get vaccinated.

Employees will be able to seek a religious exemption or provide documentation they should not be vaccinated for medical reasons. The new Iowa law that has banned so-called “vaccine passports” prevents Iowa governments from issuing ID cards showing a person’s vaccination history. It did not, however, forbid hospitals and other Iowa businesses from mandating that employees get a Covid-19 shot.