COvID vaccine vial

Healthcare workers across Massachusetts will need to get at least a first dose of a COVID-19 by Sept. 1 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 10, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced Wednesday.

After Oct. 10, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health will start enforcing the mandate. Exemptions will be offered to those with medical restrictions or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent receipt of vaccination.

“Personnel includes all individuals employed directly or by contract by the LTC provider,” according to the governor’s office.

There are 378 skilled nursing facilities and two “soldiers’ homes” in Massachusetts. As of Aug. 2, 155 facilities had full vaccination rates of less than 75% among staff members.

With the rise of the delta variant, Massachusetts joins a growing list of states requiring healthcare employees to receive a COVID-19 or risk termination.

In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) is drafting an executive order that would mandate the vaccine for nursing home staff.

“That’s going to be a priority for us,” he said Wednesday at a press conference in Manchester.