New Yorks Largest Health Care Provider Fires 1,400 Unvaccinated Employees

Oct. 5, 2021 -- Northwell Health, the largest hospital system in New York state, fired 1,400 employees on Monday for not complying with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The employees represented less than 2% of Northwell’s 76,000 employees, who are now all fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Joe Kemp, the assistant vice president of public relations for the company, told The Hill.

“Northwell Health is proud to announce that our workforce -- the largest in New York State -- is 100% vaccinated,” the company said in a statement to several news outlets.

No.181 - Post-Sun Exposure

“This allows us to continue to provide exceptional care at all of our facilities, without interruption and remain open and fully operational,” Northwell Health said.

Having a fully vaccinated workforce is part of the health system’s duty to protect others, the company said. Northwell Health includes 23 hospitals and more than 830 outpatient facilities, according to ABC News.

“Northwell regrets losing any employee under such circumstances,” the company said. “We owe it to our staff, our patients and the communities we serve to be 100% vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The order went into effect last week, prompting tens of thousands of employees to get vaccinated. As of last week, 87% of hospital staff were fully vaccinated, and 92% of hospital and retirement home workers had received at least one dose, according to state health data.

A few thousand Northwell employees got vaccinated as the deadline approached, Kemp told The New York Times. Some who lost their jobs at first were able to return to work, and those who have been terminated can interview for reinstatement for 30 days. The hospital system is also “openly recruiting” for the vacant positions.

“The goal was to get people vaccinated, not to get people terminated,” Kemp said.

As of Monday, nearly 72% of New York residents had received at least one vaccine dose, according to the latest state data. About 64% are fully vaccinated.

Read more on: vaccines, covid vaccine, news