Atrium Health became the latest health system to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees, the health system announced Thursday.
The day before, the American Hospital Association threw its support behind vaccine mandates for hospital and health system workers, as did America's Essential Hospitals.
A 200% increase in coronavirus-related hospitalizations—99% were for unvaccinated patients—at Atrium facilities drove the decision, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Atrium Health said.
"With the new Delta variant being far more potent than the original virus, we view it as essential that each of our teammates receive their vaccination to protect themselves, their families and the people in their care," Atrium said in a news release. "We view this vaccine no differently than our requirement for our teammates to get an annual flu shot, as well as be vaccinated for measles, chickenpox and other infectious diseases."
The healthcare giant employs more than 70,000 workers across 42 hospitals, six freestanding emergency departments, more than 30 urgent care centers and more than 1,500 practices in North Carolina and Georgia.