Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) -- All Mayo Clinic staff members, regardless of work location, are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 17. or participate in a declination process.
"We really need to take advantage of this time right now. When we have the vaccines, they are freely available, for everyone to get vaccinated, so we can stop the spread of the Delta variant but also we can prevent the development of new variants," said Mayo Clinic Dr. Melanie Swift.
Employees who decline to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will need to complete education modules, and will be required to wear a mask and socially distance when on the Mayo Clinic campus.
"We were on the downtrend in the United States with increasing vaccination rates and decreasing new cases. And, what has happened is that we've gone from having our first case of the Delta Variant in the United States in March, to it now being the vast majority of our sequenced cases," said Swift.
Mayo Clinic will be among the dozens of health systems in the country that are requiring employees to be fully vaccinated because of the increasing cases of COVID-19 around the country, the low vaccination rates and the threat of variants.
"We are proud of our staff's high vaccination rates and are grateful that the vast majority have embraced the opportunity to get vaccinated," said Mayo Clinic President Gianrico Farrugia.
People who are not vaccinated are at higher risk for severe disease, and higher risk of transmitting disease to others.