UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s hits 99.5% compliance as company vaccine mandate begins

UnityPoint - St. Luke's in Cedar Rapids, pictured May 9, 2021
UnityPoint - St. Luke's in Cedar Rapids, pictured May 9, 2021(Mary Green/KCRG)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 12:42 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The vast majority of staff at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids are vaccinated for COVID-19. The hospital began mandating the vaccine on Monday. Tuesday, staff who are unvaccinated and do not have an approved exemption, were put on administrative leave.

“The safety of our team members, patients and community is our top priority,” the hospital said in a statement.

“We are pleased to share that currently 99.5 percent of UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital team members are now compliant with our vaccination policy. Compliance with our vaccination policy is defined as completing the COVID-19 vaccination series or qualifying for an approved exemption. Vaccinating team members is a safe and effective way to protect both our staff and patients and help reduce the spread of COVID-19. As we move forward, we continue to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. For those in our communities who are eligible, receiving the vaccine is the best way to help keep health care workers healthy, so our teams can focus on providing care to those who need it most,” the statement went on to say.

Governor Reynolds signed a bill last week that requires companies to allow medical and religious exemptions when mandating COVID-19 vaccines. The new Iowa law also guarantees unemployment benefits to those who lose their job for refusing the shot.

“Team members who are not compliant with our COVID-19 vaccination policy by Nov. 1 will be placed on administrative leave beginning Nov. 2 rather than be terminated on that date. The purpose of administrative leave is to allow for consideration of exemptions under the new Iowa law,” UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s said Tuesday.

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