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September 3, 2021

Day Kimball Healthcare giving workers until Nov. 1 to get first COVID-19 vaccine dose

Photo | Contributed Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam.

Putnam-based Day Kimball Healthcare on Thursday became the latest Connecticut medical system to adopt a vaccine mandate, with officials citing the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant and flagging vaccination rates in some communities as motivating factors.

Day Kimball Healthcare employees must receive at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1, the nonprofit network announced, unless they are granted a medical exemption or deferral or an approved religious exemption. The mandate applies to all staff, including medical workers, volunteers, students, contractors and vendors.

“By requiring the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, DKH joins health systems and associations across the country in supporting vaccination for health care workers in an effort to continue protecting our patients, staff and communities from this dangerous disease,” said Day Kimball CEO Kyle Kramer. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again due to the threat of variants, and many communities continue to have low vaccination rates.”

Day Kimball Healthcare operates Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam, the Day Kimball Medical Group, home-based health services and health care centers in Putnam, Killingly and Plainfield.

According to John Graham, the health system’s chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs, 83% of Day Kimball employees, including 100% of physicians, have already been vaccinated. 

The network will continue education and outreach efforts among its workforce, Graham said, and access to vaccines will remain free for staff members through Day Kimball’s employee health program, as well as through its primary care practices.

Workers seeking an exemption or deferral on medical or religious grounds have until Sept. 30 to make a request.

The Connecticut Hospital Association in June settled on a policy requiring all staff at acute care hospitals to be immunized against COVID-19, barring a recognized exemption. Since then, a number of health care systems, including UConn Health, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Yale New Haven Health System, have expanded the mandate through their clinics, doctors offices and other operations.


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