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AlohaCare implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees

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AlohaCare, a Honolulu-based nonprofit health insurer, is implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for its 250 employees.

AlohaCare employees will need to provide proof of full vaccination by Oct. 23, or be granted medical or religious exemptions and be tested weekly. AlohaCare said weekly testing for unvaccinated employees began this week.

“AlohaCare is committed to mitigating the risks of COVID-19 exposure while ensuring employees can return to a safe work environment,” said AlohaCare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Okamoto in a news release. “The Delta variant is expected to persist into 2022, and possibly 2023, due to nearly 200,000 unvaccinated adults in Hawaii and about 200,000 unvaccinated children. Every organization needs to do its part to keep our communities safe.”

AlohaCare said “to continue to carry out our mission to the people of Hawaii we must be ready to interact safely.”

The company’s goals include restoring in-office and field operations, renewing in-person participation in special events, skills training, coaching and more.

“By mandating COVID-19 vaccines that are proven to be safe and effective, we are moving closer to the goal of restoring these in-person services,” the company said in a news release.

AlohaCare was founded in 1994 by Hawaii’s community health centers and is solely dedicated to serving those eligible for Hawaii QUEST Integration Medicaid and Medicare program. The nonprofit serves more than 76,000 Hawaii members.

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