OU Health announced in a Thursday statement it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for certain staff members by Aug. 31.
Kris Gose, the interim OU Health chief operating officer, announced that the health system will require vaccinations for its faculty, staff, trainees and students on rotations, and employees in patient and non-patient settings, regardless if they have previously contracted COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals are defined by the CDC as having their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for two weeks or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for two weeks.
Staff are allowed to decline the vaccine under limited circumstances, including medical contradiction and religious belief, according to the statement.
“OU Health truly anticipates that our efforts will protect our patients and employees and will help stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19,” Gose said in the statement.
OU lifted its campus mask mandate June 7, following Gov. Kevin Stitt’s executive order barring Oklahoma agencies from requiring masks and COVID-19 vaccinations. The mandate does not apply to facilities "primarily involved in medical patient-facing activities." Stitt signed this order after passing legislation prohibiting vaccination requirements for schools, colleges, institutions and universities.
COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in Cleveland County, according to the New York Times, which notes a total daily case number of 108 positive tests and a 7-day average of 15 cases. Fully vaccinated individuals make up 38 percent of the population.