Workers At North Carolina Health Care Provider Face Firings

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina-based health care provider said Tuesday that nearly 400 of its workers face dismissal for not complying with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program.

Novant Health Inc. said Tuesday that 1.4% of its overall workforce, or 375 employees, aren't allowed to work for refusing to take the vaccine, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Novant unveiled its mandatory vaccination policy on July 22, saying then that it would require full compliance by Sept. 15. In a news release, Novant Health said the affected workers will have a five-day period to comply with the vaccine mandate or be dismissed.

Novant said 98.6% of its more than 35,000 employees are in compliance. It considers workers to be compliant if they have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Employees with just one Moderna or Pfizer dose have until Oct. 15 to get the second dose, according to Novant.

Meanwhile, UNC Health is extending the deadline for its employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine to Nov. 2. The original deadline was Tuesday.

Anyone not compliant with the UNC Health mandate as of Tuesday will go into a vaccine probationary period that provides a last chance to remain employed.