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Centra vaccine requirement costs 36 employees

The deadline for Centra Health employees to receive full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus has passed, resulting in a total of 36 employees departing from the organization.

According to a press release issued Thursday, Nov. 19, Centra announced its vaccine policy requirement on Aug. 16. Three weeks later, the Biden Administration announced plans for a federal vaccine mandate.

Centra gave employees a deadline of midnight on Nov. 1 to get fully vaccinated against COVID, ahead of the Jan. 4 federal deadline.

Centra officials stated that as of Nov. 2, approximately 1.9% of caregivers did not meet the compliance standards by the deadline.

The release noted 79 caregivers were non-compliant, with 55 employees only partially vaccinated by the deadline.

A combined 134 individuals’ statuses were pending as of the Nov. 1 deadline, at which point Centra leadership had one-on-one conversations with said caregivers to validate compliance and next steps.

Following the suspension period on Nov. 16, 34 caregivers remained pending in compliance, which resulted in five caregivers being terminated.

Officials said as a result of the policy, 31 caregivers have voluntarily resigned for a total of 36 employee departures. (0.52%)

Officials stated in the release that the departures do not impact staffing within the Centra system. As of today, the company’s employee population is 100% compliant with vaccine requirements.

As of Oct. 1, the COVID-19 vaccine has been a condition of employment for Centra, and all new hires will be required to be compliant with the policy.

While Centra does not currently require weekly testing for employees who have received an approved exemption, officials highlighted federal guidelines may change this policy in the future.

“Our patients and caregivers expect to be safe when they enter one of our facilities, and we need to do everything we can to protect them,” Michael Elliott, senior vice president and chief transformation officer with Centra, said. “We know the vaccine is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves and each other from COVID-19.”