South Carolina system terminates employee unvaccinated by system deadline

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Tidelands Health has fired one of its employees for not complying with the Georgetown, S.C.-based system's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, a spokesperson confirmed to Becker's.

Tidelands announced its mandate July 16 for all employees, employed providers, volunteers, learners and contractors. Employees had until Sept. 7 to receive the vaccine, and the health system provided an attestation and declination process for those who cannot get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. Tidelands said employees who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 could also choose to decline the shot.

More than 2,000 system employees complied, but one employee, who worked at Tidelands as needed without a set schedule, did not comply and was terminated, spokesperson Dawn Bryant told The Sun News.

"Once again, our team members have demonstrated their 'Safe in Our Care' commitment. As of the Sept. 7 deadline for our health system's COVID-19 vaccine requirement, all full-time and part-time employee partners are now in compliance. … One PRN ["pro re nata"] employee who did not comply with the policy is being discharged," she said in a statement shared with Becker's.

Citing their desire to protect patients, visitors, colleagues and communities, hospitals and health systems across the U.S. have announced vaccine mandates for employees. While many employees have complied with the mandates, some health systems have fired workers for noncompliance. Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina Health fired five of its employees for not complying, and West Orange, N.J.-based RWJBarnabas Health fired six workers for not complying with its mandate. Additionally, at Houston Methodist, 153 employees either resigned during a two-week suspension period or were terminated June 22 for noncompliance.

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