Protesters gather outside of UPHS Marquette with concerns over vaccine mandate

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Approximately a dozen protesters gathered across form UP Health System Marquette on Friday ahead of an upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate for hospital employees.

Danielle Walin, who identified to us President for the Marquette County chapter of the group ‘Stand Up Michigan’ said they are a grassroots movement who fights to protect their freedoms and rights.

“We are out here showing our support for the nurses and the staff that UPHS has going in effect for December 6. So we’re just out here to support them and to let UPHS know that some of the community does not agree with their mandate for the vaccine,” said Walin.

UP Health System – Marquette intends to fully comply with the federal vaccine requirement, as we know that the COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against this virus. By December 6, 2021, individuals are expected to have either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine or the first dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna). Individuals must receive the second dose in a two-dose series by January 4, 2022. COVID-19 testing is not a required mitigation strategy under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccination rule and is not an alternative to complying with the mandate. We are committed to fulfilling all of our regulatory and compliance obligations and are working diligently to ensure our team is compliant by the deadlines.

We are pleased that 85% of our employees have already chosen to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We are working with our remaining staff members to ensure they either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit an appropriate exemption. We are grateful to our team for complying with the federal vaccination requirement and doing their part to advance our mission of Making Communities Healthier.

We are aware of the planned gathering in our community concerning the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate. While we fully respect the rights of individuals to voice their views on this or any matter, we are committed to fulfilling our regulatory and compliance obligations and plan to comply with the current law as reflected in the federal mandate. We kindly ask our community members to please demonstrate peacefully and in a respectful manner so as not to impede access to our facility or disrupt our patients who are seeking care. Our focus continues to be on providing safe, high-quality care to all those we serve.

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