Texas’ St. David’s HealthCare employees will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — St. David’s HealthCare, an Austin-based Central Texas hospital system, told KXAN on Wednesday that it will become the latest in the state to require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

St. David’s, which has 47 facilities, said in a statement that while it’s always encouraged employees to get vaccinated, workers must now be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4. The system says while the majority of its staff have already been fully vaccinated, it will now work to make sure those who remain have ample time and opportunity to fulfill the requirement.

Back in July, both Baylor Scott & White Health and Ascension Seton health care systems enacted their own mandates: requiring their entire workforces to be vaccinated by Oct. 1 and Nov. 12, respectively.

St. David’s announcement comes as Austin-Travis County COVID-19 cases are on the decline, though the area remains under Stage 3 risk-based guidelines. This means people who are fully vaccinated can go maskless in private indoor settings, although masking is still encouraged. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people are still asked by Austin Public Health to wear masks at all times when not at home.

As of Wednesday, there are 941 active COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County. There are currently 116 people hospitalized for COVID-19, 65 patients in the ICU, and 35 people on ventilators.

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