SPOKANE, Wash. — Providence Health Care reported 97% of its staff at hospitals and clinics in Spokane and Stevens Counties have complied with Governor Jay Inslee's vaccine mandate. This means a large majority of Providence caregivers have either been vaccinated or received medical or religious exemption.
The remaining 3% of caregivers who did not submit proof of vaccination or ask for exemption were placed on leave. Providence Health Care said it is working with these individuals to help them come into compliance.
Of their care facilities, Providence St. Joseph Care Center reported a 100% compliance rate alongside Providence Emilie Court Assisted Living Center's 97% rate.
This news comes four days after Providence Health Care requested federal resources to help address the growing number of hospitalizations from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent press release, Providence said it requested the resources through the Washington State Department of Health. A team of 20 people arrived at Sacred Heart Medical Center over last weekend, including doctors, respiratory therapists and nurses.
In Washington state, 38,344 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the Oct. 18 vaccine mandate back in August amid soaring delta variant cases. The mandate required most state and health care workers and school employees to get vaccinated or lose their jobs. Employees could also apply for a medical or religious exemption, but there is no testing option.
A large majority of Washington state employees have complied with the mandate, but many departments are reporting substantial numbers of workers losing their jobs by failing to comply. While over 90% of state workers are vaccinated, the effects of noncompliant employees are expected to ripple across industries, including public safety, transportation and education.