United Methodist Communities Requiring Associates to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

United Methodist Communities announced today that all associates will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15, 2021.  

President & CEO Larry Carlson shared, “United Methodist Communities has a high ethical and moral obligation to provide the safest living and working environment possible and believes that the best path forward is a fully vaccinated workforce. The decision to require the vaccine was thoughtfully and thoroughly discussed. We evaluated a number of competing factors before coming to this conclusion. UMC’s associate vaccination rate is already significantly above the national average, however the rise of the Delta variant makes it imperative that we foster a community positioned to best protect those who live and work with us. Our associates are the lifeblood of our ministry, and we will continue to educate and engage with them through this process.” 

UMC has offered numerous vaccination clinics at their assisted living and affordable housing locations across the state since the vaccines have become available, and currently 75% of staff are fully vaccinated. The remaining staff members will have until October 15th, 2021, to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or they will be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from their positions. Looking ahead, associates will also be required to receive a booster shot if and when they become available. Vaccine exemption requests will be considered from any associate unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccines due to a certified medical reason or strongly held religious beliefs. 

As Carlson indicated, organizational leadership views the decision to require vaccinations among associates as the next logical step in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. “For the past year and a half, our residents and associates have sacrificed and gone to great lengths to protect themselves and their fellow community members from this virus,” added David Glenn, Vice President of Human Resources at UMC.  With proper precautions and infection control procedures in place, UMC’s communities are making steady progress in returning to group activities and welcoming back visitors. From a staffing perspective, associates are committed to doing all they can to ensure the residents in their care continue to have a safe environment to enjoy fulfilling and abundant lives. 

UMC encourages all unvaccinated associates to speak with their healthcare provider about getting vaccinated or visit vaccines.gov and use the Vaccine Finder tool to locate a pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccines near them. Associates in full-service communities can also speak with their Associate Resource Director about their community’s next planned COVID-19 vaccine clinic.