Advocate Aurora Health announces COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Advocate Aurora Health will require team members to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 15.

The decision was announced on Wednesday, Aug. 4.

“We are first and foremost a safe, clinical enterprise. Our ultimate duty is to protect the health and safety of our team members, patients and communities,” President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh told team members Wednesday in a video. “The data is overwhelming. This vaccine is safe, and it’s highly effective in preventing infection and even more so, serious illness and death.”

Aurora says its inpatient COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased five-fold over the past three weeks, and the system's test positivity rate is the highest it has been since January.

“While COVID is far from gone, our story is still being written. Let this decision to mandate vaccines be another chapter in our book – one that says we have done everything we can to keep our patients, our communities and each other safe and healthy,” Skogsbergh said. 

The requirement applies to all 75,000 team members in both Illinois and Wisconsin, with limited exceptions for specific religious or medical reasons. Aurora says this includes remote workers and those who do not work directly with patients, as well as medical staff, students, volunteers and on-site vendors. 

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