Mesa County hospitals on vaccine mandate deadline today

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:12 PM MDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:46 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Starting today, healthcare workers around the state who are not vaccinated and have not been approved for an exemption, have been put on leave.

Community Hospital is currently operating at over 90% capacity. The CEO Chris Thomas says they are busier than ever and staff are getting tired, as this spike is as high as it was at this time last year.

83% of their staff have received at least their first vaccine shot, leaving about 200 people who haven’t. Of those 200, all but four have been granted exemptions, and those four people were put on leave today. Community Hospital says they hope those four individuals will put in exemption requests because they need all the help they can get operating at such high capacity. Due to it being such a low number of people on leave, the hospital has not had to implement any surgery cancellations or restrictions as a result.

While they are on a hold waiting for instructions from the state regarding next steps on the mandate, all staff is required to wear masks, undergo daily temperature checks, and stay home if they have any symptoms. Whether staff is vaccinated or unvaccinated with an exemption.

”We’re just really trying to balance the healthcare needs of the community & the vaccine mandates that are coming from the state & the feds,” said Community Hospital CEO Chris Thomas. “We’re doing our best because at the end of the day we need staff here to take care of sick people & at community hospital we’re trying hard to accomplish both.”

Both Community Hospital & St. Mary’s have been on & off diverting patients in their emergency rooms because they’re so full. Meaning they’re not taking transfers and deal with ambulances as they come in as they asses their capacity.

We reached out to St. Mary’s and Family Health West about this and were not available. We will have statements from them later this week.

Copyright 2021 KKCO. All rights reserved.