Danville, Pa. -- In a Facebook post made by the Danville Police Department on Monday, the department said it has received word of a potential demonstration in the Danville area tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 14.
"We appreciate everyone's right to gather and air their grievances, however EVERYBODY's rights must be protected;" the post said.
According to comments made in the post, Geisinger staff and supporters intend to demonstrate in opposition to the vaccine mandate Geisinger announced on August 25.
“Based on overwhelming evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, we believe this is the right decision at the right time to protect our patients and employees and slow the spread of this deadly virus in our communities,” said Jaewon Ryu, M.D., J.D., Geisinger’s president and chief executive officer, in August.
“We understand that some employees who have consciously chosen to not get vaccinated may be disappointed by this decision. We hope they will understand that this is a necessary step to protect the health of our patients and their colleagues,” Ryu had said.
In March of 2021, Geisinger reported reaching a milestone surpassing 200,000 vaccines. "Of the 211,000 vaccine doses administered by Geisinger, 86% have gone to members of the community not employed by Geisinger," the health system reported.
Data from the Pennsylvania Department Health showed back in March that five of the top 12 counties were ones with a Geisinger hospital, indicating their push for vaccines was successful.
Tomorrow's planned demonstration will likely disrupt the regular flow of traffic in Danville. The police department has offered tips for participants and community members:
- There is no public parking at the Weis Market plaza along SR-54. It is private property. If you park there, your vehicle may be ticketed, or towed at the vehicle owner's expense.
- Parking in the Borough near the hospital is residential permit only. If anyone without a permit parks there; you will be ticketed.
- Do Not interfere with emergency vehicles.
- Please do not block roadways or impede vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Respect your neighbors and their property.
Hydrate and be safe! We don't want to see anyone fall ill or get injured if there is a demonstration.