The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota fired 700 unvaccinated employees just weeks after other nurses pleaded with hospital CEOs in the state to address a staffing crisis.
“While Mayo Clinic is saddened to lose valuable employees, we need to take all steps necessary to keep our patients, workforce, visitors and communities safe,” the clinic said in a statement, the Star Tribune reported Tuesday. “If individuals released from employment choose to get vaccinated at a later date, the opportunity exists for them to apply and return to Mayo Clinic for future job openings.
The employees had until Monday to get vaccinated. The 700 people fired represents about 1% of the medical center’s 73,000 employees.
“While final numbers are still not available, nearly 99% of staff across all Mayo Clinic locations have complied with the required vaccination program, meaning they have been vaccinated or have received medical or religious exemptions,” the clinic added in its statement.
Just ahead of Christmas, nurses represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association held a press conference to plead with various hospital CEOs in the state to address a staffing and retention crisis.
“To our patients, I want to say this: Nurses will be here when you need us,” Mary C. Turner, union president and a COVID-19 intensive care unit nurse said at the Dec. 20 press conference. “To our hospital CEOs and elected officials, please hear us: Nurses need more than words, we need action to address the crisis of staffing and retention in Minnesota hospitals.”