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COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

 May 26, 2021


May 26, 2021

This past year has been difficult for all of us, particularly in healthcare. We adjusted to the events of the pandemic with the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health by taking measures to keep our residents safe.

Heritage Operations Group and Green Tree Pharmacy have decided to go one step further to assure the safety and well-being of our residents: we will now require the COVID-19 vaccine for all new and existing employees of Heritage Operations Group including our corporate office and Green Tree Pharmacy as a condition of employment.

After seeing the overwhelming effects that COVID-19 had on our residents, employees and families, we feel this is the right thing to do in order to stay true to our mission of caring for our aging residents. Unvaccinated employees pose a direct threat to the health and safety of our residents and other employees. Below, we have outlined two important dates to note regarding this decision to require employee vaccination:

Effective June 14th -
All newly hired employees must be vaccinated prior to working their first day. Proof of vaccination will be required. They will be required to have at least the first dose (if Pfizer or Moderna), or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The second dose may be administered after employment has commenced. Proof of receipt of the second dose will be required.

Effective September 6th –
All current employees must be fully vaccinated.

We are encouraging employees to get vaccinated at their local participating pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc.) or their local health department. As another option, Green Tree Pharmacy will be offering regional vaccination clinics for our employees this summer.

We believe vaccinating against COVID-19 is essential to keep our residents healthy, both physically and mentally. We understand that this decision may be well received by many employees and concerning for others. In order to be a responsible provider of health care to our elder population, we believe this is the right thing to do. We do recognize and understand that there may be medical or religious reasons for choosing not to get vaccinated and Heritage will accommodate appropriate exemption requests as required by law on an individual basis.

What does this mean for vaccinated employees?
Routine testing at facilities and communities will cease for vaccinated employees unless there is an outbreak
There will no longer be a quarantine period after direct exposure to COVID-19
Employees are protecting our residents' health, safety and well-being
Optional masking in many public settings

By vaccinating, we are allowing our residents to have visitations with their families, enjoy group activities, group dining and get back to the quality of life that is uninterrupted by the effects of COVID-19.


Sincerely,
Benjamin Hart
President & CEO
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