Vaccination deadline approaching for workers in Nevada hospitals, universities and prisons


John Locher / AP

In this photo from April 26, 2021, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a UNLV vaccination center.

The deadline for employees of hospitals, prisons and universities in southern Nevada to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is looming.

Here is how some of the local institutions are doing:

Colleges

Employees at public colleges and universities governed by the Nevada System of Higher Education have until December 1 to get vaccinated. Among local institutions, the UNLV reported that about 83% of its staff were fully immunized by October 25, not far from the 85% vaccination rate across NSHE.

Additionally, Nevada State College registered 87% and College of Southern Nevada 79%.

NSHE’s human resources department will issue warnings Monday to employees who have not submitted immunization records, according to Board of Regents policy. The NSHE previously sent out “notices of non-compliance” in October.

The warnings will include information on how the employee can correct any misinformation about their current immunization status, local resources to obtain a vaccine, and the ability to request a medical or religious waiver.

Termination notices will be sent on December 1 to those who are not vaccinated, indicating that they will be terminated as of December 31, although employees with open waiver requests will be suspended.

The state board of health has required proof of vaccination for students on campus to register for spring 2022 classes. Registration for the next term also begins Monday. Students who are vaccinated after November 1 but before the last day to resume classes can attend in person after providing proof of their injections. For UNLV, the last day to register is January 24.

Hospitals

Hospitals that accept Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement are subject to a White House warrant that has no deadline. However, many have already set their own policies.

The University Medical Center, which has a deadline of November 1, had 92% of its staff vaccinated on Thursday. Spokesman Scott Curbs said more employees may have been vaccinated outside of UMC and have yet to submit their cases. Medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

“As we continue to lead the way for the Nevada healthcare industry, UMC takes pride in developing the safest hospital environment possible for our patients and members of our team,” said Curbs. “With an incredibly high vaccination rate among staff and universal COVID-19 testing protocols in place for all admitted patients, the UMC offers our community an unprecedented level of safety.”

Health Dignity / St. Dominican chain Rose also has a deadline of November 1, although a spokesperson for the hospital system said the numbers were still being calculated.

“As healthcare providers, we have a responsibility to help end this pandemic and protect our patients, colleagues and communities,” Dignity said in its August announcement for his tenure. “Requiring vaccination from our teams is essential to maintain a safe care environment. “

A spokeswoman for Valley Health, which includes Valley, Centennial Hills, Desert Springs, Henderson, Spring Valley and Summerlin hospitals, said she would follow federal guidelines but did not provide figures on employee immunizations.

HCA, which includes Sunrise, MountainView and Southern Hills Hospitals, states that “the vast majority of our employees have been vaccinated. We strongly encourage vaccination and will follow all state or federal regulations. “

Prisons

In prisons, High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs – the largest facility in the Nevada Department of Corrections – only had a 54% vaccination rate among its staff of nearly 700 at 7 October, the most recent date available, a Nevada department said the Corrections spokesperson.

High Desert’s vaccination rate essentially mirrored that of 53% system-wide, although individual facility compliance rates varied widely from state to state.

Spokeswoman Teri Vance said the department will follow a gradual disciplinary process to deal with unvaccinated employees, although this may take months, “and every effort will be made to ensure that every unvaccinated employee complies with the mandate.” Medical and religious exemptions will be considered.

Vance said each facility has an “emergency response manual” that typically addresses multiple scenarios, including strikes and walkouts, and additional contingencies in the event of a critical shortage due to the warrant. These documents are confidential, she said.

Gov. Steve Sisolak backed the state health board’s decision last month to mandate state officials in prisons, health facilities and other facilities that house “vulnerable populations” , including psychiatric establishments and juvenile detention centers. The board also unanimously agreed to a staff term at public colleges in September.


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