Independent Medical Practices To Require Employee Vaccinations As NC House Republicans Suggest They Reconsider

CHARLOTTE, NC – Independent health care providers will now require employees to be vaccinated. The move comes just weeks after Atrium Health and Novant Health announced similar requirements.

On Thursday, a group of 55 North Carolina House Republicans wrote a letter to health system executives  “strongly encouraging” a different approach.

“We’re seeing escalating numbers as we move forward,” said Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris.

The county is experiencing another surge. New cases have hit a five-month high. On any given day, 127 people are in the hospital with Covid.

“Close to 99% of all the individuals hospitalized are unvaccinated,” said Harris.

The age of those infected is getting younger.

“One in five cases were in children under the age of 18,” explained Harris.

And the percent of tests that are positive is now at 11%, which is up from 2% in May. Mecklenburg county commissioners are taking note and alerting the community.

“If we stay on track like that, it is going to be a red hot minute and we’re going to be at the top level of where we were at our very worst last winter,” said County Commissioner Leigh Altman.

Last month, Novant Health and Atrium Health required employees to be vaccinated. Now, private medical providers are following suit.

  • Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center
  • Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates
  • Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates
  • Charlotte Gastroenterology & Hepatology
  • OrthoCarolina
  • Surgical Specialists of Charlotte
  • Tryon Medical Partners

The seven practices listed above require employees to be vaccinated. It’ll affect 2200 employees.

According to a spokesperson for the seven independent medical practices, the decision is due to the resurgence of COVID and the highly contagious delta variant. They say the requirement is in line with federal and state labor guidelines.

Fifty-five North Carolina House Republicans asked major health care providers to take another look.  Saying in a letter to executives, “We strongly encourage you to reexamine this requirement with greater input from employees and flexibility for those who have legitimate objections.”

The letter also warned of potential worsening conditions for patients and staff as several health care providers are having difficulties filling positions.