In an effort to protect patients, staff, doctors and guests, Sentara RMH Medical Center is moving forward with vaccine requirements.
In August, the Norfolk-based Sentara health care system announced that its employee vaccination policy was updated to include a COVID-19 vaccine requirement with a deadline of Oct. 18, according to a press release.
As of Thursday, 94% percent of Sentara’s more than 29,000 employees between 12 hospitals and more than 300 sites of care are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received an approved exemption. An additional 3% percent of employees have received their first dose and are progressing toward full vaccination, the release says.
The remaining 3% percent of employees have records that do not reflect a vaccination or an approved exemption. This includes some employees on family or medical leave and have an extended deadline to become compliant with the vaccination policy when they return from leave.
Employees not in compliance with Sentara’s vaccination policy will move forward with its standard disciplinary process. An unvaccinated team member can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine or an approved exemption to become in compliance, the release says. Unvaccinated employees will wear additional personal protective equipment consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
“We are most appreciative of our team members who embraced the importance of this safety standard and received a COVID-19 vaccine or an approved exemption,” Michael Gentry, chief operating officer for Sentara Healthcare and the Sentara COVID-19 Task Force executive leader, said in the press release. “It is also critical that we reassure our community we are safely caring for you and your loved ones.”
Sentara did not have RMH specific numbers for vaccinated employees, just the cumulative number of all employees between the 12 hospitals and 300 sites of care.