PERMIAN BASIN (Nexstar)- On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden Administration’s mandate that would have required employees of large businesses to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing and wear masks on the job. However, the Supreme Court is allowing the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most health care workers. 

That particular mandate will allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to require hospitals governed by CMS to account for the vaccination or exemption status of each employee. 

Before the case headed to the Supreme Court, both Medical Center Hospital and Odessa Regional Hospital in Odessa and Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland said plans were in place to carry out the mandate should it be upheld. However, at times, MMH expressed concern that it might lose some employees should the mandate stick. 

In a news conference Thursday, MCH leaders said about 95% of its employees are already vaccinated or have either a religious or medical exemption in place. Which means, only about 110 employees will need to be vaccinated or be granted an exemption when CMS moves forward with the mandate. 

“That’s probably out of three thousand people, that’s a pretty good number, we’re happy with that. We think we’re in a good spot,” said MCH Chief Executive Officer Russell Tippin. 

ORMC’s Chief Medical Officer Rohith Saravanan said ORMC is also prepared to carry out the mandate.

“We were prepared…and we will be okay with regard to what we have in place already. We will not have people leave because of this,” Saravanan said. 

On Tuesday, ahead of the high court’s decision, leaders at MMH said it was also ready to move forward with the mandate if necessary. We expect to hear more from MMH about the mandate in a news conference next Tuesday. 

For now, both hospitals are dealing with staffing shortages amid a coronavirus surge and have requested additional help from the state. No word on when that help will arrive.