Essentia Health has 49 fewer employees to care for the medical needs of the Northland.  The deadline for staffers to receive their COVID-19 vaccination has passed and the Duluth-based health care facility has followed through on their promise to shed any employee who did not comply with the vaccine requirement or seek and exemption.

November 1 was the deadline; the health facility had established that date when it made the announcement back in August.  Exemption applications needed to have been on file by October 1.

In a statement released with the confirmation of the firings, Essentia offered that they respected their rights:

"While we're sad to see them leave, we respect their decisions.  We appreciate their good work, wish them well, and these individuals are eligible for rehire at Essentia Health if they change their mind."

While the 49 fired staff members came as a result of the November 1 deadline passing, Essentia did suggest that more employees could be terminated due to their vaccination status (or lack thereof): "The judicious evaluation of exemption requests continues.  Until this process is complete, the full impact on our staffing will not be known."

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Essentia Health employs about 14,000 people.  According to our news partners at WDIO, "Essentia said more than 99% of its workforce is vaccinated or has applied for an exemption".

Meanwhile St. Luke's clinics and hospitals are going through their own round of COVID019 vaccine requirements and terminations.  "St. Luke's clinics and hospitals announced a vaccine mandate around the same time as Essentia.  St. Luke's reported last month that 27 employees had quit over their organizations vaccine mandate".

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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