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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic today announced a decision to require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The mandate is scheduled to take effect on September 17th. It covers all Mayo employees at all Mayo locations. Any employee who refuses to be vaccinated will be required to go through a “declination process,” which will include the completion of education modules and require that they wear face masks and socially distance while on Mayo Clinic properties.

"We are proud of our staff's high vaccination rates and are grateful that the vast majority have embraced the opportunity to get vaccinated," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic's president and CEO. "Our patients expect to be safe when they come to Mayo Clinic, and we need to do everything we can to protect everybody."

In announcing the vaccination mandate, Mayo noted it has had high rates of voluntary staff vaccinations but did not provide any specific statistics concerning those rates. The news release also says Mayo is joining dozens of health systems in implementing a vaccine mandate amid rising COVID-19 case numbers nationally, low vaccination rates in some areas, and the threat posed by the Delta and other variants of the virus.

(Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Health Department today indicated the Walz administration is discussing the possibility of adopting a vaccine mandate for state employees even though Minnesota’s increase in COVID cases has been modest when compared to some other states. Today, 424 new cases were reported, including 13 in Olmsted County where over 82 percent of the residents over the age of 15 are fully vaccinated.

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