WEST VIRGINIA REQUESTS WAIVER FROM FEDERAL VACCINE MANDATE FOR RURAL HEALTHCARE WORKERS
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that he would be joining with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, sending a joint letter to the U.S. Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, calling on CMS to grant a limited waiver of its vaccination requirement at rural or state-run facilities due to severe staffing shortages.
“We understand that the Supreme Court has ruled that this mandate can go into effect, but it is putting an additional level of strain on our rural hospitals that is just destroying us,” Gov. Justice said. “Maybe that works for more-populated areas. But in rural West Virginia, we can’t afford to have all these folks terminated because of their vaccination status. It’s just going to make it tougher and tougher for us to provide care in our rural hospitals.
“So I am joining the governor of Virginia, requesting a waiver for rural hospitals to not have to abide by this mandate,” Gov. Justice continued. “It is only putting additional pressures on us. It is not saving lives. It is not helping people in this situation. It is hurting us and hurting us in a bad way.”