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Arkansas Hospital Association supports hospitals requiring vaccinations for hospital employees

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2021 at 11:10 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A state organization is supporting hospital systems that are making changes as COVID cases rise.

The Arkansas Hospital Association released a statement Wednesday in support of hospitals requiring employees to require masks.

The statement by the Arkansas Hospital Association
The statement by the Arkansas Hospital Association(KAIT)

This statement comes after cases have risen by the hundreds each day in Arkansas.

Leaders with St. Bernards and NEA Baptist were asked if they are considering requiring COVID-19 vaccination for their workforce.

“So, we are not ruling anything out. Right now, we are wanting to go the route of the incentive route,” said Mitchell Nail, media relations manager for St. Bernards.

At St. Bernards, they have seen about a 15% to 20% rise in vaccination rates among employees since they started giving incentives.

So, right now they are not requiring the vaccination since the incentives are working well for them.

“We know we have room for improvement from where we are, but that’s been something that we’ve wanted to help our employees make a decision,” said Nail.

Over at NEA Baptist, the CEO, Sam Lynd, said they are helping their workforce make the decision by giving them information about the vaccine.

“Of course, this is a very personal choice so we try to present that with a lot of respect and empathy towards each person’s health situation may be,” said Lynd. “Provide them with any facts, answers to questions, resources, experts.”

Lynd says right now, they are looking at about 70% of their staff vaccinated at the clinic and around 60% at the hospital.

He says the interest in the vaccine among employees has grown recently.

Both hospitals say they want to continue to encourage their workforce to get the vaccine, but they are not requiring it at this moment.

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