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Concerns over staffing and closures emerge after Colorado health care vaccine deadline passes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Hospital Association is expressing concerns about how the state's health care worker vaccine mandate will be enforced.

Colorado's current vaccine mandate requires all health care workers to get their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by September 30. Health care employees are required to be fully vaccinated by October 31.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said it wants to help hospitals and other health care facilities be in compliance with the new vaccine rule but if facilities will not work with state health leaders they will face citations and possible sanctions that could escalate to a loss of licensure.

The Colorado Hospital Association said while it shares Governor Jared Polis' goal of ensuring all Colorado health care workers are vaccinated against the virus, enforcement of the mandate "needs to be careful and thoughtful."

"Removing clinicians and other support staff in order to maintain compliance with the BOH rule will endanger patients, particularly when health care facilities in Colorado are already facing severe staffing shortages. In extreme cases, it may even mean closing a facility and eliminating health care in a Colorado community or town," the Colorado Hospital Association said in a statement to KRDO.

Scott Bookman, the COVID-19 incident commander for CDPHE said the mandate is in place to protect health.

"Our goal here is to ensure patient safety and this mandate increases vaccination rates which is the quickest way out of this pandemic," Bookman said.

A spokesperson for UCHealth said 99% of its employees are in compliance with the vaccine mandate, but did not provide specific numbers of how many UCHealth workers in Southern Colorado were vaccinated.

Centura Health said 77% of its health care workers at Penrose and St. Francis' hospitals are vaccinated and they are working swiftly to get the number of employees vaccinated up.

In Pueblo at Parkview Medical Center, officials said they've seen roughly a 10% increase in vaccination of employees after the mandate was announced in late August. However, Parkview Medical Center estimates around 20% of its health care workers remain unvaccinated. Healthcare workers at Parkview who didn't get their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna by September 30 could still save their jobs by getting a Johnson and Johnson shot by Halloween, according to Parkview health leaders.

"We are in the process of putting down on paper some contingency plans of how we would deliver care if there was say a 5 to 10 percent loss of workforce or maybe more. We are sorting through those issues. I don't believe Parkview is unique in these challenges. I think every healthcare entity in the state is making such plans," Dr. Sandeep Vijan said.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

41 Comments

  1. “Removing clinicians and other support staff in order to maintain compliance with the BOH rule will endanger patients, particularly when health care facilities in Colorado are already facing severe staffing shortages. In extreme cases, it may even mean closing a facility and eliminating health care in a Colorado community or town,” the Colorado Hospital @ssociation said in a statement to KRDO.
    That says it all right there!

      1. See some people have marketable skills and are in demand and you have to treat them right. I wouldn’t expect you to understand. We needed them far more than they needed us. And wasn’t no vaccine mandate a campaign promise from the demented one.

        1. Back in December, President-Elect Biden said that he thought it would not be necessary to make a coronavirus vaccine mandatory.
          “I will do everything in my power as President to encourage people to do the right thing and when they do it, demonstrate that it matters,” he said.
          That was before it was evident that so many people would be stupid enough not to get vaccinated without some form of persuasion. Now at least he has the guts to do what’s necessary for the good of our country instead of what’s good for him.

          1. Well I can tell you my Fortune 500 employer folded real quick. When push came to shove they acted like little b******.

  2. Bidened that demented fraud puppet and the radical Marxist Democrats that now occupy our government would like to send out vaccine enforcers to go knocking door to door to force under threat of arrest people get the vaccine.
    They want medical tyranny, they want Total tyranny over Americans, they are on a mission to destroy America.

    1. I believe you are 99% right. Mandates have no place in a free society over something that kills such a tiny percentage. Or for anything else, either. We are on a road to tyranny. It’s even against international law!

    2. There’s no hope for America when there are idiots like you continually spewing out this garbage.

      1. What other group of people politicians in their lackey is blamed another group of people for all their problems?

        1. Trump always blamed everyone else for his own problems, especially when he caused them by his own actions or inactions.

      2. There’s no hope for America when there’s sheep like you that will do whatever an idiot like Biden tells you to do. Seriously.. You listen to Joe?? You really think he’s all there? You’re just as dumb as he is.

  3. They should inst i tute mandatory weekly testing for ALL employees.
    But they know if they do that, too many “vaccinated, acceptable people” are going to be positive- and they will be sending mas sive amount of workers out on quarantine.
    If it wasn’t so scary that we are going to already lose countless medical professionals, it would be interesting to see how many of the “vaccinated” are toting covid everywhere.

    1. Weekly testing is a crock. If are asymptomatic and then you test positive, you’ve had a week to spread the virus to your coworkers, and to patients in a health care setting.

  4. To snag a post from Fcn2.0;

    “Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced stringent new vaccine rules on federal workers, large employers and health care staff in a sweeping attempt to contain Covid-19”

    they didn’t mention in this article that all the following groups ARE EXEMPT:
    White House staffers
    Members of Congress
    Federal Judges
    The CDC
    The FDA
    WHO
    Pfizer Employees
    Moderna Employees
    Johnson and Johnson Employees
    Illegal aliens/refugees

      1. What? Did I read that cor rectly? Cor rect me if I’m wrong Check…you…yes you…of all people who constantly deride us are saying the illegals and refugees don’t need the shot but we that protest this are being forced to take it? Like I said…please please please cor rect me if I’m wrong because what I’m reading says just that…anyone…Bueller…anyone?

        1. I didn’t say they don’t need it. I just said that they’re exempt from the employer requirement if they don’t have employment.
          .
          Can’t you read plain English yet?

    1. facebook Daddy is trying to tell me that is not true.
      Like how they are marking up everyone’s comments over there lately ??

  5. Optimum urgent Care had to close recently. Because of lack of staffing. Biden’s America.

      1. it closed due to lack of staff.
        They probably transferred who was left to another location so they had sufficient staffing.

    1. Sadly, Too True! I Choose to Minimally fear The Government, Instead ‘fear’ GOD More. Time on Earth is Short compared to Eternity!

        1. Swine flu was successfully fought, because people treated it the same as a type of flu, which it was. And they got vaccinated for H1N1 with their regular flu shots.

  6. From the Hypocratic Oath:
    I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.
    So long as I maintain this Oath faithfully and without CORRUPTION, may it be granted to me to partake of life fully and the practice of my art, gaining the respect of all men for all time. However, should I transgress this Oath and violate it, may the opposite be my fate.
    And also added: Vow to do no harm!

    1. Great comment…NOT…you and Reality…CWA…Alexi all should get together for a tea party and don’t forget your masks!!!

  7. To paraphrase/adapt a really good movie quote, “I’m shocked, shocked I tell you that firing qualified staff could lead to staffing shortages and impact care!”

  8. The people that want it, have it. The ones that don’t, don’t and never will.

  9. I wonder if you will feel differently if your parents or children die due to these nonsensical polices.

    1. And what about those whose parents or children already dies because there was no vaccine. or because others refused to be vaccinated?

  10. Hey RealityCheck… How stupid do you have to be to sit back and approve of the government telling what you have to do to your body to participate in daily activities? Can you comprehend the power you have given to them? You do understand that you approving of this WILL com back to bite you or a loved one in the future? It may not happen in your lifetime but those you leave behind will have to put up with a government that no longer fears the people. Maybe we should force the older generation to give up their lives so we can harvest their organs so the younger generation can live!!! You okay with that?

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