PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, which has 3,000 employees, has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees, medical providers, volunteers, students, contract staff, vendors, and board members.
The deadline for employees to get the shot is November 1. Employees that do not comply with the vaccine mandate will face termination. Parkview officials cited the rise in delta variant case numbers in the Pueblo community as part of their reasoning.
Parkview's Public Relations Specialist Racheal Morris said, “Our numbers while they went down, they are back up again and the delta variant is really surging through the country, and so it is vital for us to be ahead of that.”
The Parkview Board of Governors voted unanimously to approve the mandate before the Colorado Board of Health’s mandate vote, which mandated the vaccine for all state health care workers, on August 30.
“This is us setting the example and setting the bar for what we feel is important and what we know is important for our community to do," Morris said. "We are leaders of health care in our community and our community relies on us to be the experts, and so we feel very confident about this decision. We feel this is going to move our community forward and it's the right thing to do based on scientific research."
Employees that get the vaccine by the deadline will receive a $500 bonus as well. Exemptions will be granted for valid medical and religious reasons. Anyone who receives an exemption will be required to test weekly and wear a mask at all times.
Morris says few employees have voiced displeasure with the mandate. "It has been quiet here at Parkview, which hopefully is a testament to us moving forward and getting folks vaccinated," Morris said.
Parkview expects to have specific data regarding how many of their employees have been fully vaccinated next week.
As of Wednesday, Parkview Medical Center reported 43 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Officials say they have held at the number for the past few days.