A North Carolina-based healthcare system will suspend 375 of its employees for noncompliance with the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Novant Health announced on Tuesday that 98.6% of team members either got the vaccine or were granted a religious or medical exemption, leaving roughly 375 team members who were noncompliant with the vaccine mandate unable to report to work as a result.
"They will have an opportunity to comply over a five day, unpaid suspension period," the press release read. "If a team member remains non-compliant after this suspension period, he or she will have their employment with Novant Health terminated."
Team members granted a medical or religious exemption are required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, wear N95 respirator masks or other appropriate personal protective equipment, and don protective eyewear while working, provisions the company said are in place "to ensure patient and team member safety and preserve staffing levels."
President Joe Biden announced on Sept. 9 that all businesses with over 100 employees would need to require their employees to get vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 every week.
The announcement has drawn criticism from Republican governors, and many companies have struggled to comply. A New York hospital announced on Sept. 13 that it would have to pause baby deliveries starting Sept. 24 due to a worker shortage after 30 employees quit rather than comply with the mandate.
North Carolina has had more than 1.3 million cases of COVID-19 since the outset of the pandemic, and 53.5% of the state's population is fully vaccinated against the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
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Original Author: Asher Notheis