Vidant’s first deadline for employee vaccine mandate compliance passes

Published 1:17 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Vidant Health said more than 99.6% of its 1,766 managers, physicians and credentialed providers were in compliance with the system’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement as of last Friday, which was the deadline for that particular group to complete their vaccine series or receive a medical or religious exemption.

Six of the employees in that group were not in compliance. “Given the small number of employees not in compliance, we are not sharing specifics about any HR actions in order to protect team member privacy,” Vidant said in a statement.

Team members, new hires and contract workers — a much larger group that includes roughly 12,200 employees — have until Dec. 1 to comply with Vidant’s vaccine requirement. Vidant’s system includes Vidant Beaufort Hospital and seven other community hospitals, as well as Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

“We are proud of our team members for setting the example and getting vaccinated to protect themselves and those we love and serve throughout the East,” Vidant said in a statement.

Vidant announced its vaccination requirement in late July, shortly after several of the state’s largest hospital systems announced similar measures. Vidant said the COVID-19 vaccine would become a condition of employment for its employees. Vidant said those with approved medical or religious exemptions could be subject to requirements such as weekly testing and potential reassignment away from units with immunocompromised patients.

Approximately 49% of Beaufort County’s total population is fully vaccinated, as is 59% of its adult population. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced last Friday it had updated count-level vaccination data from U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Services and Federal Bureau of Prisons to reflect the county of residence for the person vaccinated. As expected, that change boosted vaccination rates across the state. Beaufort County Health Director Jim Madson said Beaufort County’s numbers grew by about 2%.

As of Tuesday afternoon, health officials knew of 378 COVID-19 cases among Beaufort County residents. Of those, 11 are hospitalized and one is on a ventilator.

The county’s seven-day average case rate is 26. The county has recorded 122 COVID-19-related deaths.