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SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Jewish Community Center has announced that it will require all employees, volunteers, and contractors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 8.

The Springfield JCC, which employs more than 150 full-time and part-time staff, joins with other local, regional, and national organizations that are requiring their employees to become vaccinated.

“For the safety of our members, students, and staff, it is vital that our workforce get the vaccine, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country,” said JCC Chief Executive Officer Samantha Dubrinsky. “As a community center, we have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of those we serve, including children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Limited religious and medical exemptions will be granted, and reasonable accommodations will be provided in accordance with guidance from public health authorities, the JCC’s Medical Advisory Committee, and applicable law.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the most powerful tool we have to end this pandemic,” said JCC Board President Richard Goldstein. “We believe it is imperative for the Springfield JCC to take the lead in requiring staff vaccinations to set an example to the broader community.”

To support this new vaccination policy, the JCC will host a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 1, so that employees can have questions answered by the JCC’s management team.

The Springfield JCC served as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic site in 2021. The agency also hosted a mobile testing program as part of the state’s “Stop the Spread” campaign in 2020.

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