Can Florida Hospitals Mandate Vaccines?

Find out if hospitals in Florida can mandate vaccines and what exemptions are provided under state law.

Can Florida Hospitals Mandate Vaccines?

Florida law prohibits vaccination mandates for private employers, unless several exemptions are provided, including medical or religious concerns, anticipated future pregnancy or pregnancy, and past COVID-19 infection. The Biden Administration and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a federal vaccination deadline on Monday for some 60,000 local hospital workers. The rule could affect the nearly 4.7 million Floridians who use Medicare or Medicaid as their health insurance. A series of legal challenges from states, including Florida, delayed the application of the rule, but the Supreme Court ruled in January that the federal government could enforce it.

Timelines vary by state as a result of separate lawsuits and resolutions.The deadline for Florida healthcare workers to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine was January. In addition to that deadline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed Friday how they measure the risk of COVID-19 in a community. Hospital burden, rather than case counts, now determines how people are advised to act. He said that 70% of the counties that were classified as low-risk under this new measure on Friday would have been classified as high previously.He said the updated figures were not available on Tuesday.

Orlando Health has not shared the vaccination totals of its staff. Orlando Health spokeswoman Nicole Ray said the hospital was recording staff immunizations as required by the federal mandate, but failed to confirm whether it was enforcing the mandate through termination or other actions.Meanwhile, CDC announced changes Friday to its metrics for COVID-19 containment. Only people living in counties where hospitals are heavily overburdened are advised to wear masks in indoor public areas, including schools. Salemi said this new rule could harm opportunities to mitigate the spread before cases increase to the point where they require hospitalization.Other metrics, such as wastewater testing, should be used to make policy decisions and assess risk, he added.

Orange, Osceola, Lake and Polk are in the high category, which means indoor masking is still recommended. Volusia and Seminole are in the middle category starting Thursday. Across the state, updated CDC guidance is unlikely to change policy, Florida Department of Health spokesman Jeremy Redfern said in an email.Florida will not enforce Biden Administration mandatory vaccination policy for health workers defending U. S.

UU. Supreme Court, a spokeswoman for the governor's office said Thursday. She said it also harms patients “because hospitals in California and other states now require healthcare workers vaccinated and infected with COVID to treat patients due to staff shortages, which was exacerbated by vaccination mandates.How do you keep someone safe? The CMS rule applies only to hospitals and other healthcare facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funding, requires all staff to be vaccinated, have an approved or pending qualified exemption, or be granted a temporary delay as recommended by the U. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitals that do not meet the above requirements will receive a notice of non-compliance.The Florida Health Care Association, the state's largest nursing home industry group, expressed concern about the effect of the vaccination requirement on staffing. CMS said centers should allow exemptions for a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice, and for medical reasons. All Florida employers must comply with Florida law, Pushaw said. And Florida law also requires employers who cause workers to receive the COVID vaccine to provide the exemptions outlined by the Department of Health rule of.Florida law also protects all workers, including healthcare workers, from being forced to receive COVID vaccines “under penalty of dismissal” Pushaw said.

The hospital chain Ascension announced a mandate during the summer, only to reverse policy in Florida following the November change in state law.

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