LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Lee Health announced it will be enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees, for the time being.

The healthcare system said its enforcement of the mandate will remain in place pending a decision from the Supreme Court on its current case challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine or testing requirements for large employers and certain health care workers.

The Supreme Court began hearing arguments about the vaccine mandate on Friday.

Lee Health said that it waits on a decision from the Supreme Court, “Lee Health will follow the regulations that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is currently enforcing to ensure we can continue to provide access to quality health care for seniors and vulnerable individuals who rely on Medicare and Medicaid.”

“As a community-owned health system, Lee Health is responsible for meeting the health care needs of our community. Over two-thirds of our patients are beneficiaries of Medicare or Medicaid. We must ensure that seniors and the vulnerable have access to health care services,” said Mary Briggs, system director of strategic communications for Lee Health.

Lee Health said employees must receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 27 and their second by Feb. 28.

No further information about the vaccine mandate at Lee Health was immediately available.

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