Baptist Health Paducah

PADUCAH — The Baptist Health system will require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The system includes hospitals, care centers, doctors' offices and other health care facilities in Kentucky and Indiana. 

Baptist Health CEO Gerard Colman sent an email to staff Monday announcing the mandate, the Louisville Courier Journal reports. Colman wrote that the health care system is requiring vaccination because of rising COVID-19 case loads and the rapid spread of the delta variant of the virus.

Just last week, Baptist Health Paducah announced it is suspending visitation in its emergency department because of increased COVID-19 cases. A Baptist Health Paducah spokeswoman confirmed to Local 6 that the company is requiring its remaining unvaccinated employees to get their COVID-19 shots. 

The Courier Journal reports that Colman's email notes that "65 to 75%" of Baptist Health staff members are already vaccinated.

The full details of Baptist Health's vaccine mandate have not been made public yet. But, Louisville NBC affiliate WAVE-TV reports that a spokeswoman told them the company's top priority is the health and safety of staff, providers, patients and the communities it serves. “Details of the plans are still being shared with staff and the Baptist Health Medical Group," the spokeswoman told WAVE-TV in a statement. 

Baptist Health officials are expected to release more details later this week. 

Norton Healthcare, which serves communities in the Louisville area, is also requiring employee vaccinations