Mandate Gets Vaccine Results in Philadelphia Nursing Homes:

The vaccine mandate for Philadelphia healthcare workers has succeeded in prompting 46 of the city’s 47 nursing homes to ensure the full vaccination of all non-exempted staff workers, says a Nov. 6 article in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Based on a report compiled from a survey sent to Philadelphia nursing homes on Oct. 15, 90.8% of the city’s nursing home workers are now fully vaccinated, an increase of over 30% since the mandate was announced for healthcare workers three months ago. Beyond those fully vaccinated, 4.8%  of workers have received at least the first of their shots.

Despite its extremely high vaccination rates (94.8% fully vaccinated and 1.3% partially vaccinated as of Oct. 24), the Delaware Valley Veteran’s Home is listed as not having satisfied the city’s mandate. According to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, this Northeast Philadelphia home, a 171-bed facility run by the Pennsylvania Department of Veteran’s Affairs, was considered not in compliance with the mandate only due to its failure to put into place any formal exemptions. According to the article, Philadelphia officials remain confident that the home is striving to meet the city’s requirements as quickly as possible.

The mandate gets vaccine results in Philadelphia nursing homes, aside from the religious or medically exempt. The report lists 286 Philadelphia nursing home workers as being exempt from COVID-19 vaccine requirements. The majority of these workers—230—received religious exemptions from the city, while medical exemptions accounted for the remaining 56 people. Workers with approved exemptions are able to continue working in homes, provided they wear two masks and get tested twice weekly. By contrast, those workers with unvaccinated or unknown statuses are not permitted to work until proof of vaccination is shown, says the city. As of the time of the report, 75 workers were unvaccinated, and 66 were recorded as unknown.

The question remains as to how vaccine mandates across the state and nation might impact an industry already plagued by staff shortages and high turnover. In Philadelphia, those workers listed as “no longer employed” number fewer than 200. The report does not indicate whether these workers chose to quit their job rather than receive a vaccination or were fired for not getting one.

Fighting for a Safe Environment for Your Loved One

Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes are required by law to meet specific health and safety requirements and to provide such care as to secure the physical, mental, and psycho/social well-being of their residents. To meet these standards, the Philadelphia/PA or NJ nursing home where your loved one lives must be equipped to avoid the poor care that amounts to nursing home neglect or abuse []. This includes ensuring adequate, quality staffing. Should you have concerns about a Pennsylvania or New Jersey nursing home during COVID-19, or if you suspect neglect, abuse, or fraud has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.