We hope that you all had a great summer, and we are thrilled to welcome you back to campus. As you know, COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Centra Health, Inc. has decided to require the COVID-19 vaccination for all Caregivers. The term 'Caregiver' includes Centra College students, faculty, and staff. We are sharing the communication that went out to all Caregivers at Centra Health, Inc. on Monday, August 16, 2021. Some additional information follows the announcement. However, logistics regarding vaccine clinics, COVID-19 testing, exemption forms, and uploading of documentation into VerifiedCredentials will be forthcoming. We are sharing this information so that you have an opportunity to start the vaccination series as soon as possible. Please read the following message carefully and thoughtfully.
responsibility as Centra Caregivers is to deliver the best possible care to our
community, whilst doing no harm.
Over the last 18 months, we have experienced the challenges
of COVID-19 on and in our community. For each and every of the last 501 days of
dealing with COVID-19, we have made difficult decisions and constantly adjusted
our aim to reflect the fluid dynamic that COVID-19 has and continues to
present. As we go into the Fall, we face the epidemiological consequences of
our local population who are approximately 40% vaccinated against the virus, a
population of Centra caregivers where the vaccination rate is less than 60%, a
spike in COVID-19 cases, and, furthermore with the Delta variant, a more
virulent strain of the virus.
It is in this context that we must consider how we continue
to provide the highest quality care patients and visitors should and can expect
of Centra, combined with a safe working environment that our Caregivers
deserve. As such, Centra has decided to require that by midnight November 1st,
2021, all of our Caregivers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This
requirement aligns with Centra’s longstanding influenza vaccine requirement. We
have prepared guidance on how to comply with this COVID-19 vaccine requirement,
which guidance follows below.
A decision of this magnitude must be and was taken based on
scientific facts, data, and evidence, knowing that the vaccine is proven not
only to be safe but also to be the single most effective tool in preventing the
spread of this virus. Our decision was also taken after careful and deliberate
consultations with our clinical colleagues, who have been at the forefront of
those conversations, always prioritizing the safety of our patients and
We also worked diligently to invite diverse and
representative groups from across our organization to share their perspectives.
Those views were a guiding factor in the complex analysis resulting in our
decision. Furthermore, we consulted with national, regional, and state
healthcare officials, as well as received unanimous approval for the COVID-19
vaccine requirement from our three hospital Medical Executive Committees, the
Centra Board of Directors, and the CEO Workgroup.
In closing, please know how impressed I have been and
continue to be by Centra’s response to the pandemic; also, know how grateful I
am, for the leadership that you will demonstrate in our health system and for
our community, in your compliance with Centra’s vaccine requirements.
Interim President and CEO
What do you
need to do?
Centra College students are encouraged to become vaccinated as soon as possible
but will be required to be fully vaccinated no later than midnight November
1st, 2021. In order to meet this deadline, students must receive their first
dose by October 1st, 2021.
and Safety Information
recognize that some students who are not vaccinated are hesitant to do so due
to uncertainty or personal safety concerns. You may visit the CDC COVID-19
Vaccine site for additional information in the link below.
of Prior Vaccination
who have already received their vaccination will be required to confirm their
vaccine status. Proof of prior immunization should be uploaded to
VerifiedCredentials. Please upload the document to the ‘COVID-19 Vaccination’
field within your account or under the ‘other documents’ field.
who are not able to be vaccinated for medical or sincerely held religious
beliefs may request an exemption. Students are required to complete a Medical
and/or Religious Exemption form(s) with supporting documentation.
religious exemption forms must be completed and uploaded to VerifiedCredentials
by October 1st. Caregivers will be notified if their form is approved or denied
and, if approved, of any restrictions they will be required to follow so long
as they remain unvaccinated.
Medical Exemption Forms must be completed and uploaded to VerifiedCredentials
by October 1st, 2021. Caregivers will be notified if their form is approved or
denied and, if approved, of any restrictions they will be required to follow so
long as they remain unvaccinated.
students granted an exemption approval will begin COVID testing beginning the
week prior to the start date of any rotation on a Centra campus and continuing
weekly for the duration of the rotation.