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Banner Health mandating COVID vaccinations for all employees by Nov. 1, including Wyoming Medical Center

WMC Chief of Staff Dr. Andy Dunn becomes the first frontline healthcare worker at the hospital to receive a COVID vaccine dose. (Wyoming Medical Center, Facebook)

CASPER, Wyo. — Banner Health, which owns the Wyoming Medical Center, will require all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1.

Banner said on Tuesday, July 20 that they have notified employees that they must be fully vaccinated by November 1 as a condition of employment. Banner employs about 52,000 people across their network.

“Banner Health is implementing this requirement for several reasons, including the rise of the Delta variant, the pending lift of the Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, the need to protect its patients and workforce, and to prepare for the flu season,” the press release states. “In addition, national data shows that 97 percent of hospitalizations and 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths are in the unvaccinated.”

Banner says that they launched a vaccination incentive program in July to encourage employees to get vaccinated. Fully vaccinated employees will be eligible to win $10,000, with drawings set to take place in July and August. 10 winners will be selected.

“Banner has also provided its employees with pay for time away to get vaccinated, mileage reimbursement and points toward its wellness program that offers discounts on health insurance,” the organization states.

Banner said there will be some limited exceptions to the requirement, with more information to be shared with employees in coming weeks.

“We care for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and we owe it to them to take every measure possible to ensure the safest care environment,” said Peter Fine, president and CEO for Banner Health, in a company-wide email on July 20. “[W]e are taking this step to reduce risk for our patients, their families, visitors and each other. Safety is an absolute top priority and the COVID vaccine mandate reflects that commitment. The vaccine data has fully supported the safety and efficacy to prevent disease and reduce its severity. There is overwhelming evidence for us to act on behalf of the communities that rely on us to care for and protect them.”