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Health

St. Luke's Makes The COVID-19 Vaccine Mandatory For Its Employees

St. Luke's Hospital
St. Luke's

St. Luke's announced Friday it will require employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine by September.

Dr. Jim Souza of St. Luke's said the health system had been seeing an increase in staff calling in sick from COVID-19. Those absences are straining the hospital's ability to provide care.

“We’re already struggling to staff ambulatory clinics and in-patient units,” Souza said. “And employee call-offs due to COVID are actually steadily increasing in the last six weeks.”

St. Luke's and Saint Alphonsus, both part of the Trinity Health system, will require all employees and contractors to be vaccinated by September. At St. Luke's, 80% of the staff has received at least one dose.

Souza said the decision is aimed at protecting the patients they take care of. Low vaccination rates in Idaho and the threat of the more contagious Delta variant were also a concern.

“We really felt like we needed to act,” he said.

Follow Gustavo Sagrero at @gus.chavo

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