August 3, 2021 —After careful consideration and a continued monitoring of the science, Kendal at Ithaca will be requiring all staff, contracted staff, volunteers and new residents to be fully vaccinated against COVID19 by September 15th, 2021. Kendal at Ithaca believes that the high risk of severe disease from COVID19 for our resident population makes it imperative that our campus be fully vaccinated. With over 339 million vaccine doses administered in the U.S. as of late July 2021, there is ample evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective. The escalation of transmission of the Delta variant, the increase in cases locally, as well as the enhanced vulnerability of older adults and those with underlying health issues or immune-compromising conditions are the drivers of the timing of this decision. We are also uncomfortable with the significant hardship imposed on health center residents when a staff member tests positive for COVID 19.
In accordance with Federal EEOC guidance, there will be an opportunity to apply for a medical or religious exemption and accommodation. Because Kendal at Ithaca exists to serve older adults, who are highly vulnerable to the negative outcomes of COVID, we anticipate very few accommodations will be possible, particularly for jobs where interaction with residents and staff are essential.
We appreciate everyone’s efforts related to the safety of our residents, staff and the Kendal at Ithaca community.