HONOLULU (KHON2) — AlohaCare (AC), a nonprofit health plan, founded in 1994, by Hawai’i’s community health centers has implemented its new mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for its 250 employees.

Although the new policy is mandatory, AC said employees who are granted medical or religious exemptions will need to test weekly.

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“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. “The Delta variant is expected to persist into 2022, and possibly 2023, due to nearly 200,000 unvaccinated adults in Hawai‘i and about 200,000 unvaccinated children. every organization needs to do its part to keep our communities safe.”

With deep roots in Hawai’i, AC said its goals include restoring in-office and field operations, and renewing & recharging its in-person participation in special events, skills training, coaching, and more.

AC said by mandating COVID-19 vaccines, that are proven to be safe and effective, its company is moving closer to the goal of restoring these in-person services.

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The deadline for employees to provide proof of full vaccination is Oct. 23. Weekly testing for unvaccinated employees begins the week of Sept. 13.