HONOLULU – To maintain the safe environment at its hospitals and help curb the prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities, The Queen’s Health System (QHS) today announced plans to require COVID vaccination for its physicians and staff.
“Queen’s is deeply committed to the health and well-being of our caregivers, patients and visitors. We know that the best way to protect ourselves against this rapidly-spreading virus is to get vaccinated. The COVID vaccines are safe and effective, and they are our best tool to emerging from this persistent global pandemic and for keeping our communities safe,” said Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN, QHS President and CEO.
Effective October 1, 2021, all Queen’s physicians and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated with one of the FDA-EUA COVID-19 vaccines. Exemptions will be provided for medical reasons as well as accommodations consistent with federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines (e.g., a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance).
Unvaccinated physicians and staff will be subject to weekly COVID testing. Those who do not get tested or who test positive will not be allowed to work.
Additionally, beginning this Wednesday, August 4, 2021, only visitors who are vaccinated against COVID will be allowed to visit patients at QHS hospitals. Exceptions will be made for newborn and end-of-life visits. Only one visitor will be allowed per patient in order to better protect patients and staff.
Visitor and other policies are constantly scrutinized to match the conditions of the pandemic. The prevalence and the transmissibility of the Delta variant has led to this change.
Upon arrival, visitors will undergo a temperature and symptom check at a screening station. They will be asked to produce proof of vaccination and an ID card. Once cleared, they will be given a daily pass sticker and may proceed with their visit. Those who are unvaccinated will be asked to return when they have proof of immunization.
“Queen’s was founded in 1859 in the midst of the ravages of infectious diseases in Hawaiʻi. Now, in 2021, we are again asking the question ‘What can we do to best keep our patients, our caregivers and our communities safe from a preventable infectious disease?’ Queen’s is profoundly grateful that after many years of the application of the scientific method, we have a prevention tool as powerful as the COVID vaccines. There has been too much suffering,” said Todd L. Allen, MD, QHS Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer.
Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing are the best ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Queen’s has vaccination clinics at multiple convenient locations to serve the community. For more information, visit covid.queens.org/vaccine or call 808-691-2222.