BEND, OR -- St. Charles Health System will require every health care provider to either get a flu shot or wear a mask, during the peak of flu season. Kari Coe, St. Charles’ Director of Infection Prevention and Caregiver Health, says most hospitals have already adopted a mandatory flu mask policy and it’s now a standard for the industry.
She says the policy is designed to encourage every employee to get vaccinated. "Our goal is, as is every hospital’s goal, is to reach 90% employee or health care worker vaccination rate. We have been just hovering around 74-75% at St. Charles Health System for about the last three years."
Coe tells KBND News the new rule applies to caregivers, independent providers and students working in hospitals and clinics. "You either have your flu shot and then your receive a little sticker that you where on your badge identifying that. Or, for those who do decline, whether it’s by choice or by actual medical reason, then they must wear a mask at all times while they are at work, from December first through March 31st."
The federal goal is to get 90% of medical workers, nationwide, to receive an annual flu shot by the year 2020. "Overall, it’s to help protect our patients and actually our caregivers, and even visitors. So, it’s kind of a round-robin effect." says Coe. "This is all about making a healthier community."