GREENSBORO, N.C. — Novant Health announced Thursday that all employees need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 15.
The hospital system said the spread of the Delta variant and stagnant vaccination rates in the area led to the decision. Five other major hospital groups also announced that their employees would need to get vaccinated.
WFMY News 2 spoke with Novant Health to learn more about the policy.
Q: What are the latest statistics on how many Novant Health staff members have been vaccinated?
A: Roughly 67% of our team members have received at least one dose of vaccine. Like systems across the country, we are seeing lower acceptance rates among our Black and brown team members, as well as those who identify as gen Z or millennials. We are seeing a higher acceptance rate among those with higher level clinical roles. Our physicians, for example, have accepted the vaccine at a higher rate (95%) than the overall team member vaccination rate.
Q: What will happen to employees who are not vaccinated by the September 15 deadline?
A: The vaccination program is required to protect patients from the spread of illness that may occur through transmission from a healthcare worker. If a Novant Health team member does not comply by the deadline, their access will be suspended until their vaccination status is fully compliant. If they remain non-compliant it may lead to termination.
Q: Are there any exemptions to the requirement?
A: There are few medical and religious exemptions that will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those exemptions and the requirement to apply for them have been communicated to team members.