A North Carolina hospital system has terminated about 175 employees in the latest in a slew of healthcare terminations due to Covid vaccine mandates, reports the Washington Post.
Novant Health, whose headquarters are about an hour and a half away from North Carolina’s capital city of Raleigh, announced on Monday that it had fired the employees for failing to comply with the organization’s mandatory vaccine policy.
“We stand by our decision to make the vaccine mandatory as we have a responsibility to protect our patients, visitors and team members, regardless of where they are in our health system,” said Novant Health in a statement.
The mass firing is one in a series of vaccine mandate terminations in the healthcare field. Previously, meer as 150 healthcare workers employed at Houston Methodist Hospital were either fired or resigned after a hospital-wide vaccine mandate, one of the first vaccination requirements in a healthcare setting.
Originally, approximately 375 unvaccinated employees from Novant Health, spanning 15 hospitals and 800 clinics, were suspended for not getting vaccinated and given five days to comply.
Oor 200 of the suspended employees received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by Friday, getwiet Novant Health spokesperson Megan Rivers, betekenis 99% of Novant Health’s approximately 35,000 employees followed the vaccine mandate. The rest of the workers were dismissed, though an exact number has not been confirmed.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our team members who made the choice to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and remain part of our team at Novant Health,” the hospital group said in a statement.
Novant Health had announced the vaccine mandate on 22 July and had given employees until 15 September to get vaccinated, according to the Post.
Any employees that were granted an exemption from the required vaccination are required to complete weekly coronavirus testing and wear an N95 respirator mask and other personal protective equipment while working on any Novant Health hospital or clinic.
Rather than comply with the mandate, some employees are seeking work elsewhere. Laura Rushing, a nurse who has worked with the company for 16 jare, said that she is looking for a new job after her religious exemption was denied by the hospital.
“Who decided my religious exemption, the wording used was not good enough? It wasn’t as good as someone else’s? That just feels like discrimination and I didn’t appreciate it,” said Rushing to WSOC, a local news affiliate.