WINCHESTER, Va., — Valley Health officials say 97 percent of its staff has either received the COVID-19 vaccine or an approved exemption.
The deadline was September 7th for employees to comply or face termination.
Mark Nantz, President and CEO of Valley Health says he’s “extremely proud”of what he calls his team members’ “commitment to the safety of our patients, fellow caregivers.”
A group of employees and former employees posting to a non-compliance group on Facebook say the compliance is directly tied to the threat of losing their jobs. Among the comments were some that indicated that new number does not account for those who have left or been let go because of the vaccine mandate.
Nantz says the hospital system has seen a dramatic spike in COVID cases in the region due to the growing presence of the Delta variant. He says, ‘The rising COVID patient census continues to strain resources at our hospitals, physician offices, urgent care centers and other patient care locations.”
He says the majority of COVID-positive patients in their ICU are either
unvaccinated or have not completed their vaccination series.
A release from the system says hospitalizations are at rates not seen since last winter and a growing number of staff members are on quarantine due to exposure,
Valley Health says they employ more than 5,300 at their hospitals and regional facilities.
Valley Health advises those concerned about a possible COVID-19 exposure or illness to contact their primary care provider or visit an Urgent Care center.
“If you are having a medical emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest Emergency Department,” according to a press release from Valley Health, which goes on to caution that an ER is not the appropriate setting for asymptomatic COVID testing or return-to-work testing following exposure and/or quarantine.”