Washington loses 2 percent of hospital staff amid state mandate

Washington has lost about 2 percent of hospital staff amid the state's COVID-19 vaccination mandate, the Washington State Hospital Association said during a press briefing Nov. 15.

In a recording of the briefing, posted by The News Tribune, association CEO Cassie Sauer said remaining staff have sought and received an exemption and have been accommodated, or were in the process of getting vaccinated.

The Washington State Hospital Association has been monitoring the hospital staff vaccination rate statewide. According to a survey from the group, released Oct. 11, the hospital staff vaccination rate was 88 percent days before the Oct. 18 state mandate deadline for healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated.

Ms. Sauer reported a statewide vaccination rate of 94 percent as of Nov. 15.

"That's better than we thought," she said. "It's higher in urban areas than in rural areas. In some rural communities, this remains an issue. We see that services are still constrained in some areas because of mandate and other issues."

While her latest count Nov. 15 indicated the state has lost roughly 2,000-3,000 hospital workers over the mandate, the association is continuing to monitor the numbers, Ms. Sauer said, according to The News Tribune.

Overall, 64.21 percent of the state's population was fully vaccinated as of 6 a.m. ET Nov. 15, according to the CDC's COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration data tracker.

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