DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Methodist Health System announced Thursday, July 29 it is mandating all of its workforce be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1.

Baylor Scott & White announced the same policy on Wednesday, July 28.

Methodist said the majority of its workforce took advantage of that opportunity to get vaccinated when the COVID-19 vaccine first became available.

Now the remainder of its employees (on-campus and remote workers), physicians on the medical staff (employed and affiliated), volunteers, vendors, students, and contract staff must be vaccinated.

In an email to approximately 10,000 employees and medical staff, Methodist senior executives explained the decision: “The highly contagious Delta variant is causing another spike in the number of COVID-19 infections in North Texas. We believe the best way to keep our hospitals and communities safe is to achieve a fully vaccinated workforce.”

Once Methodist attains its goal, all full-time employees will receive a $500 bonus.

Part-time employees will get $250.

As with the mandated flu vaccine, exemptions will be made on medical or religious grounds, Methodist said.

Employees are encouraged to apply for an exemption by September 10 in order to have their exemption reviewed before the October 1 vaccination deadline.

The requirement comes as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge throughout the U.S., especially among those who are unvaccinated.

CBSDFW.com Staff