Exact number of resignations unknown at deadline for NCH employee vaccine policy

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

Time was up Thursday night for unvaccinated health care workers at NCH Healthcare System. Employees with NCH had until 5 p.m. to show proof they were vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Hundreds of people were projected to lose their jobs ahead of the deadline, but some of those employees were choosing to get vaccinated to avoid what was being considered a voluntary resignation.

NCH also said many employees were rushing to hand in the necessary paperwork before deadline, so it’s going to take time to review it. Therefore, the exact number of resignations and the possible impacts of those on the hospital were still unknown Thursday.

Every employee inside an NCH building has the expectation to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption moving forward.

We asked people whether or not they care if their doctor is vaccinated.

“I have never thought about that,” Caren Epstein said.

“I do care,” Rich Schmaelzle said.

“Never crossed my mind,” Chip Crowley said.

Several hundred or more NCH employees faced the reality of losing their job after choosing not to get the shot. Some told us they hope the people they interact with inside medical facilities are vaccinated.

“I’m just coming off of nine weeks of radiation therapy for prostate cancer,”Schmaelzle said. “I don’t understand why they wouldn’t be. What’s their objection as a medical professional?”

Others say they trust the individual employees to be safe and respect their personal decisions.

“I absolutely believe that it should be up to the individual,” Crowley said.

Some said they assumed that everyone already was vaccinated, but say they feel better about getting medical care with the requirement in place.

“I’m older,” Epstein said. “I think it would probably be important to me.”

With regard to the medical and religious exemptions, the spokesperson for NCH said each submission is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and approval is only granted after they’ve had a chance to speak with the employee and verify the exemption.

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