Asante/Providence preparing for state’s vaccine mandate Monday

MEDFORD, Ore. – The deadline for Oregon healthcare workers and teachers to get vaccinated is quickly approaching. The state’s deadline is this coming Monday.

Some people are now choosing to leave the healthcare field because of the new requirement. NBC5 News spoke with local hospital officials to see if residents should expect any changes next week.

Oregon’s vaccine requirement for health care workers goes into effect Monday. But Asante representative Lauren Van Sickle said patients won’t be affected by next week’s changes. She said the vast majority of Asante employees are fully vaccinated, but the numbers aren’t final yet.

“Our vaccination rate among employees is nearing 88% that amounts to over 5,300 employees,” said Van Sickle.

Van Sickle said Asante believes the governor’s goal is to have a 100% vaccinated health care workforce. Other employees may be placed on leave or choose to end their employment.

Providence said 94% of its employees in Southern Oregon are vaccinated or have received a medical or religious exemption. Even inside the hospitals and medical facilities themselves, healthcare workers have mixed feelings.

“It’s a very dividing subject. It’s divisive for staff, the community but losing nurses in a time of an incredible nursing shortage already, and the number of nurses we will lose simply from burnout with all of [the] things related to covid over the past year and a half, that number is pretty significant,” said Susan Bruce back in Sept. 2021.

Healthcare isn’t the only industry affected by this requirement. State workers and teachers also need to get vaccinated or receive an approved exemption. Gov. Kate Brown addressed the issue in the Rogue Valley Thursday saying the state mandate is working as intended and making Oregonians safer.

“What we’re seeing is that Oregonians whether they work in the healthcare arena or work for state government or work in education are stepping up to get vaccinated. And frankly, it is our only pathway for the pandemic,” said Gov. Brown.

Both hospital systems said they’ll have official numbers Monday.

Leave a Comment:

Note: By commenting below you agree to abide by the KOBI5.com commenting guidelines. View the KOBI5.com Comment Board Guidelines »

Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]