August 23, 2021
Dear Wesley Community Residents, Clients and Families,
First and foremost, I want to thank you for your steadfast support throughout the pandemic. We hope that you are faring well despite the many challenges we have collectively faced and continue to endure related to this pandemic.
A lot has happened within healthcare facilities, regarding COVID-19 vaccines, both nationally and locally, over the past couple of weeks relative to requiring staff to become vaccinated. The science and data point to the vaccine’s critical role in protecting our residents, our clients, and each other from this deadly disease. This is further evidenced by the recent announcement that New York State will be requiring all hospital and nursing home workers throughout the State, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27. State Health Commissioner Zucker further indicated that the State will most likely be extending this requirement to include all assisted living facilities, congregate care settings and physician practices. Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul has stated that she approves of this plan as well. In addition to the State’s mandate, on August 18 the President announced that the Federal Government will be requiring nursing homes throughout the country to have all staff vaccinated for COVID-19.
Under the State and the Federal governments’ new required vaccination policy, which The Wesley Community must implement, there will be a very limited allowance for exemptions for our staff from being vaccinated. Those exemptions will be for legitimate, fully documented, medical reasons as well as fully documented long held religious beliefs.
Per New York State’s new policy for nursing homes and in consideration of their intention to extend this mandate to all of our other settings and services, Wesley Community employees who choose not to be vaccinated on or before September 27, 2021, and who do not have one of the rare exemptions, will no longer be able to work on-site or in home care come September 28, 2021. While we would be disappointed to lose any of our dedicated staff due to this issue, it means that an employee in this situation will need to be let go at that time in order for The Wesley Community to not be in violation of New York State and the Federal governments’ new regulations. Students and new employees will also be required to be vaccinated unless they receive an exemption.
It is clear that the vaccine is effective in reducing illness and saving lives and we encourage everyone who is medically able to do so, and within their religious guidelines, to get vaccinated.
While we understand this is a heavy issue for many, for The Wesley Community the mandate is clear and one we will abide by.
Thank you again for your ongoing support.
J. Brian Nealon, CEO