GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) – A big deadline for Oregon has passed.
Now, all of the state’s healthcare workers are vaccinated, as Governor Kate Brown’s compliance mandate expired on Monday. Those who refused the vaccine were fired.
In a video posted Tuesday, Brown thanked Oregon residents for receiving the vaccine.
âYou’ve helped protect some of our most critical workplaces from disruption caused by COVID-19,â Brown said.
PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) – In a new COVID-19 forecast, the OHSU predicts that we should achieve collective immunity in Oregon by mid-December.
Healthcare workers and teachers are among those who need to be vaccinated at work. The vast majority of these workers have received the vaccine, but thousands of people who oppose it are now unemployed.
“It’s really emotional not to go back to what you know, what you feel safe in,” said Robyn Robinson, a nurse from Gresham who has not been vaccinated. âYou are no longer safe. Not knowing overnight and knowing that you are not the only one.
Robinson said she is currently on sick leave as she rushed to have her foot surgery before losing health care.
Hoping to retire with Legacy Health, Robinson said she has spent the past nine years working in a surgical unit. For Robinson, nursing is his passion and his call from God. But He also told her to avoid getting vaccinated through prayer.
âI’m no more of a threat today than when I was working, using all the same PPE was the policy,â she said.
Robinson said her religious exemption was denied, leaving her here disappointed and angry, with tough choices to face.
“Am I going to be able to stay here?” Should I (uproot) and move? Am I leaving my children? Am I leaving my grandchildren? Robinson wondered.
This is something nearly 500 other Legacy Health employees might also wonder, now that they, too, have lost their jobs. Legacy Health vice president and chief nursing officer Kecia Kelly said she doesn’t take it lightly.
âWe are sad to see family members leaving the organization, but on the other hand, the staff feel a sense of security,â said Kelly.
According to Legacy, overall, 96% of employees chose vaccination. Initial vaccination rates within the hospital system were 85 percent.
âEverything we have done, we have done from a safety perspective and our commitment is to be a safe place for our patients to receive care and also to be a safe place to work,â said Kelly said.
The loss of so many employees has forced Legacy to temporarily consolidate some of its services, Kelly said. This includes the temporary closure of some of its GoHealth emergency care clinics.
According to the hospital system, all laid-off Legacy workers are always welcome to return if they decide to go ahead with the vaccine.
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