What Are the Consequences for Unvaccinated CentraCare Employees?
Last week CentraCare spokesman Dr. George Morris said unvaccinated CentraCare employees would not be fired. That is still technically the case. This week when I talked with Dr. Morris he got into more detail as to what the result would be for employees who choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He said employees who have not been fully vaccinated or received a medical or religious exemption by December 15th will be placed on unpaid leave. Morris says those individuals could return to work at CentraCare if they receive a vaccine and their position is still open. He says "you may not be getting a paycheck but you are still connected to CentraCare."
Dr. Morris says CentraCare has more than 70% of their employees with a COVID-19 vaccine. Morris says "that is a great recognition and we should give great appreciation for the more than 70% of primary healthcare workers." He says their goal is to have 100% of employees either vaccinated or have received a medical or religious exemption. Morris says this is "the safe thing to do for the community and for our employees."
Dr. Morris says the arguments he's heard against getting the vaccine among their employees is similar to the argument cited in the community. Reasons he's heard include concerns over safety of the vaccine, claims that having COVID-19 already gives them better immunity, and some just don't like being told what to do. Morris says employees shaming people for not getting a vaccine is not helpful and is frowned upon.
CentraCare instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees in mid August. If you'd like to hear my full conversation with Dr. Morris it is available below.