BALTIMORE (WJZ) — LifeBridge Health, a Baltimore-based healthcare company, announced Monday it will require vaccinations for all of its employees.

The mandate will be fully implemented November 1, giving employees time to arrange a vaccination and become fully vaccinated.

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Those who apply for medical or religious exemptions will be required to have regular COVID-19 testing.

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“Given the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant, as well as the likelihood the FDA will give the vaccine full approval in the near future, we feel that now is the time we must move forward to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for LifeBridge Health team members,” says Leslie Simmons, chief operating officer and executive vice president of LifeBridge Health. “As a healthcare system, we must take steps to ensure the health and safety of our patients, our communities and our team members themselves. Scientific evidence and our own experience with this virus show that the COVID-19 vaccine is our best shot to do that,” concludes Simmons.

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CBS Baltimore Staff