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Texas hospital faces potential closure due to COVID-19 vaccine mandate, CEO says

The Brownfield Regional Medical Center is one of a number of facilities that could face significant staffing shortages due to the mandate.

Published: September 15, 2021 12:37pm

Updated: September 15, 2021 2:07pm

The CEO of a hospital in Texas is cautioning that his facility is facing possible closure following President Biden's announcement last week that healthcare workers will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

If the mandate takes effect, the Brownfield Regional Medical Center will likely lose 20-25% of its staff, CEO Jerry Jasper says. Without those employees, the hospital will likely shut down.

The Biden administration has ordered that healthcare workers who staff hospitals and facilities that receive either Medicaid or Medicare funds must receive the vaccine or lose federal funding. 

"It's huge in our rural community as all the other rural communities," Jasper said during a recent KCBD interview. "We all have high poverty levels and stuff like that, so a lot of Medicaid usage in our communities and stuff like that."

In addition to the healthcare worker mandate, Biden also announced he would direct the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enforce a rule for companies with more than 100 people that all employees get vaccinated. Federal workers and contractors will also have to get the vaccine.

Already in upstate New York, an official for one hospital said the facility is going to have to close down its maternity unit for the time being because so many employees resigned over former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The mandate was temporarily halted on Tuesday by a federal judge in New York.

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