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WVU Medicine Delays COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

File Photo - WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

WHEELING — Employees throughout WVU Medicine — including several local hospitals in the system — are looking at a delay on the system’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

WVU Medicine has pushed the deadline for employees to get vaccinated at least until Jan. 21. Douglass Harrison, president and CEO of WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital, said Friday that the deadline, originally set for Oct. 31, has been extended.

“The deadline has been extended to Jan. 21, 2022, due to the new state of West Virginia bill that was passed and will be effective in 90 days,” he said.

He added WVU Medicine is also awaiting direction from the federal government regarding its guidelines, anticipated to be released in December. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is working on rules related to making business with more than 100 workers to have a vaccine mandate.

The state legislation Harrison referred to calls for allowing religious and medical exemptions for the vaccine mandate by their employers.

“It only seems prudent to push the deadline back to await these guidelines,” he said.

The hospital’s mandate calls for employees to receive the vaccine or else be forced to resign. The mandate includes all of WVU Medicine’s employees across its hospital system. Local hospitals include Wheeling, Barnesville Hospital, Harrison Community Hospital, Reynolds Memorial Hospital and Wetzel County Hospital.

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