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Novant Health fires more than 175 for not getting vaccinated

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — A North Carolina-based hospital system announced Monday that more than 175 of its workers have been fired for failing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Last week, Novant Health announced 375 employees had been suspended and given five days to comply with the mandate. The deadline was Friday.

Nearly 200 of those employees came into compliance, Spokesperson Megan Rivers said in an email Monday. Rivers didn’t provide specific numbers on how many out of the 375 were in compliance and how many lost their jobs.

More than 99% of Novant Health’s 35,000-plus employees are now compliant with the vaccine mandate, including employees who have submitted an approved religious or medical vaccine exemption, according to a statement. The Winston-Salem-based system includes 15 hospitals, 800 clinics and hundreds of outpatient facilities.

Novant workers who have gotten their first of a two-dose vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna, have until Oct. 15 to get the second dose, officials said.

Employees who have an approved vaccine exemption must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing, wear N95 masks or other PPE, and wear eye protection while working on Novant Health premises, according to the hospital system. Novant Health hasn’t said how many exemptions were granted.

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