116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Approximately 99 percent of the employees in the MercyOne health care system have been vaccinated against COVID-19 — or have received medical or religious exemptions — as of Friday, the deadline for compliance.
Friday marked the final day for employees of the West Des Moines-based health system to submit proof of vaccination or file a request for a medical or religious exemption from the shots.
MercyOne officials would not share the number of fully vaccinated staff nor the number of approved exemptions. It also would not state how many non-compliant employees may face disciplinary action.
“Regrettably, some members of our team have chosen to leave the organization,” MercyOne spokesman Adam Amdor told The Gazette. “We're extremely grateful for their service and respect their decision.”
The health system announced the requirement in July, stating vaccination for workers is part of its effort to “continue protecting our patients, staff and communities from this dangerous disease.”
MercyOne extended its vaccination mandate deadline by 12 days to be in compliance with a state law that requires employers to grant employees’ written request to be exempt from COVID-19 vaccine requirements if they meet specific criteria.
That new rule meant any employee who previously was denied an exemption had the opportunity to file for another waiver.
It’s unknown how many employees were granted a medical or religious exemption following the new law.
“MercyOne is committed to ensuring we comply with all state and federal laws and regulations,” Amdor said.
MercyOne employs more than 20,000 people in its hospitals, clinics, medical centers and other care locations in Iowa, according to officials.
The vaccine requirement did not apply to MercyOne’s managed affiliates, such as Mercy Iowa City or the Mercy Iowa City Rehabilitation Hospital.
Employees at hospitals and clinics associated with MercyOne’s parent company, Trinity Health, were required to be vaccinated by mid-September. The Michigan-based health care system operates MercyOne Dubuque, MercyOne Dyersville, MercyOne Clinton, MercyOne North Iowa and MercyOne Western.
MercyOne is among dozens of health care systems nationwide that have reached deadlines for implementing coronavirus vaccinations for its staff.
According to the American Hospital Association, about 41 percent of U.S. hospitals have some type of COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Cedar Rapids hospitals
UnityPoint Health, the West Des Moines-based health system, mandated all 33,000 employees be vaccinated or request accommodation by Nov. 1.
Employees who failed to be vaccinated and don’t meet the criteria for an exemption were placed on administrative leave starting Nov. 2, officials said.
At UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, approximately 99.5 percent of staff were compliant as of Tuesday, officials told The Gazette.
The COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all employees and volunteers at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids goes into effect Monday, Nov. 15.
Comments: (319) 398-8469; firstname.lastname@example.org