GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Prisma Health is suspending the COVID-19 team member vaccine requirement while others are healthcare systems are shifting policies following a ruling brought down by a federal judge.
That ruling sides with South Carolina’s attorney general, blocking healthcare workers from a federal vaccine mandate. But an Upstate attorney told 7NEWS, this order does not prevent private employers from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine.
Attorney General Alan Wilson’s stance on the mandate has been backed by a federal judge, blocking a COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers brought down by the Biden administration
“If a hospital was saying, we are relying upon the federal government regulations for you to get vaccinated, well that goes away, that’s stopped,” said Upstate Attorney, John Reckenbeil.
Reckenbeil said if you’re a healthcare worker and still haven’t been vaccinated, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
“If a private employer, which they have every right to do, well they are making vaccinations a requirement of employment, then that has not been affected,” Reckenbeil said.
As for what’s next, attorney Reckenbeil told us, the only change to this ruling would have to come down from the U.S. Supreme Court.
7NEWS reached out to a handful of other healthcare systems in the Upstate about how this impacts them. You can find their responses below.
Bon Secours St. Francis:
“On Tuesday, Nov. 30, a federal judge ordered a freeze on the federal COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers. The order does not prevent employers from requiring the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, Bon Secours will move forward with its previously announced vaccine requirement. The COVID-19 vaccine helps keep employees and patients safe and lessens the likelihood for serious illness and even hospitalization. Exemption requests will be considered for medical contraindication or a sincerely held religious belief.“
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System:
“On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the federal government from requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. South Carolina is one of 14 states that filed the lawsuit to stop the federal mandate.
According to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, while the rule is blocked, the government cannot force healthcare workers to get vaccinated. Therefore, SRHS is placing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 federal vaccine mandate policy on hold until this preliminary ruling is finalized.
We will continue to monitor this litigation as it proceeds through the federal court system.”
“As part of our commitment to the health and safety of our patients and staff, AnMed Health implemented a vaccine policy in August prior to President Biden’s mandate. As of today, 99% of our teammates have complied fully with the policy. We will continue to work with the small number of remaining staff to either receive the vaccine or request an exemption. In consideration of the recent court ruling, however, we will not suspend or terminate employees who are not compliant. We will continue to monitor court and legal developments to ensure our policy is consistent with all applicable regulations.”
You can find a full statement from Prisma Health on the matter here.