PeaceHealth United General Medical Center

PeaceHealth United General Medical Center in Sedro-Woolley.

PeaceHealth’s network of hospitals will require COVID-19 vaccinations for doctors, nurses and other staff and volunteers who interact with patients.

This requirement applies to PeaceHealth United General Medical Center in Sedro-Woolley, and takes effect Aug. 31, according to a news release from PeaceHealth.

Representatives of Island Hospital and Skagit Valley Hospital said their organizations are not requiring vaccinations, but are monitoring the situation and may adapt as necessary.

Both encouraged health care workers to get vaccinated.

PeaceHealth staff who have medical exemptions for the vaccine will be required to take regular COVID-19 tests, abide by stricter masking rules and could face reassignment to a position where they don’t interact with patients, according to the release.

“We believe all healthcare workers who are medically able should get a COVID-19 vaccine to keep themselves, our patients, and our communities safe,” PeaceHealth Chief Physician Executive Dr. Doug Koekkoek said in the release. “Doing so is part of our Mission to promote personal and community health and our Vision to make sure that every person receives safe, compassionate care.”

About 80% of the health system’s caregivers are already vaccinated, but leadership determined full vaccination was necessary amid increasingly dangerous COVID-19 variants, the release states.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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