Editors’ Note: This story has been updated to reflect the accurate number of facilities and employees under Genesis HealthCare. McKnight’s received comment from Genesis HealthCare on Monday regarding its first vaccine deadline. An updated story is available here.
A week after its vaccine mandate deadline hit, the nation’s largest nursing home provider has not said how many employees it plans to terminate from its more than 200 facilities.
Genesis HealthCare did not respond to multiple requests for comment by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News ahead of production deadline.
The operator first announced a vaccine mandate in early August for its approximately 40,000 employees, volunteers, care partners and onsite vendors. The rule requires workers to get the single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine or the first shot of either two-shot mRNA vaccine by Aug. 23 or face potential termination.
Despite state and federal mandates that have come in quick succession since Genesis’s Aug. 2 announcement, the company has been the target of push-back.
A Genesis employee is a part of a lawsuit challenging Maine’s mandate requiring all healthcare workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to local media reports. Some Genesis employees in West Virginia have also staged protests against the company’s mandate.
Genesis employees who opt for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines must have their second shot by Sept. 22.
There are two potential valid exemptions for those who decline the vaccine: medical or religious. If an exemption isn’t granted, “the unvaccinated employment may be subject to termination,” a Genesis spokeswoman said previously.
Genesis had been able to achieve a 65% vaccination rate among its employees as of early August. That’s compared to 61.5% nationwide, according to federal data.