Dr. Bruce Murphy, CEO of Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock, announced Friday morning that certain hospital employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by September 30.
The new policy applies to all AHH directors, executives, managers, advanced practice nurses, physicians and physician assistants. Beginning August 1, employment offers will require individuals, if not vaccinated, to receive a first dose by their start dates and a second dose within 30 days of employment.
AHH will continue to accommodate religious and medical exemptions, according to a press release.
“We cannot provide the best health care services possible if we do not first care for ourselves,” Murphy said in a statement. “With this policy, we are committed to fulfilling the fundamental promise to do everything within our power to protect the health and safety of our patients, team members, their families and the communities we serve.”
In response to the recent spike of the COVID Delta variant, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday reinstated a public health emergency in the state and called for a special session of the legislature to lift the prohibition on mask requirements for K-12 students in public schools.
On Thursday, the state recorded its highest single-day total of COVID-19 cases — 2,843 — since January.