YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — WellSpan Health confirmed with abc27 on Saturday, Oct. 9, that they will now implement the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its employees.

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Including WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital, WellSpan Health operates eight hospitals in Pennsylvania and employs about 20,000 individuals, according to a Lancaster Online report. Those who fail to follow the mandate will lose their position with the hospital.

The announcement comes after the Biden administration announced a new federal mandate on Thursday, Sept. 9. that requires all employers with 100+ employees must either mandate vaccines or test weekly.

“WellSpan Health is complying with the recent mandate from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which requires COVID-19 vaccination of all staff within Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities, including hospitals,” WellSpan Health said in a statement.

Employees will need to receive their first dose by Dec. 1 and their second dose by Jan. 5, 2022. According to WellSpan Health, exemptions will be granted for religious and medical reasons.

“WellSpan continues to believe that vaccination is the single best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. At WellSpan hospitals, we continue to see that 99% of our current COVID-19 patients who require breathing support, 95% who need ICU-level care, and 90% who require hospitalization for COVID-19 are unvaccinated,” WellSpan said in a statement.