EASTON — University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is reporting more detailed information on the number of unvaccinated hospital workers on the Eastern Shore who have not complied with COVID vaccine mandates.
Trena Williamson, regional director of communications and marketing for UM Shore Regional, said the hospital system has 2,055 employees on the Shore.
Williamson said there are “82 UM Shore Regional Health full and part-time clinical staff across our five-county service area who are non-compliant with the system’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, a majority of these team members, 57, rarely work and have not taken a shift in weeks, months or longer. Only 25 are full or part-time clinical staff.”
Shore Regional is part of the University of Maryland Medical System with hospitals and medical centers in Easton, Chestertown and Cambridge.
The statewide hospital group reported earlier this month 750 workers across Maryland had not complied with COVID vaccines and were on leave. The system has more than 29,500 employees statewide. Unvaccinated employees who do not get shots could eventually lose their jobs with UMMS considering non-compliance a de-facto employment resignation.
A number of other hospital systems across the country are also imposing COVID vaccination requirements on workers. The Biden administration and Gov. Larry Hogan have also issued coronavirus vaccine mandates for health care workers.
They face resistance from some workers and other employees can look for medical and religious exemptions from vaccine mandates via the Americans with Disabilities Act and other statutes
President Joe Biden is requiring COVID vaccine among federal workers, the U.S. military and federal contractors. Biden is also pressing more employers to require coronavirus vaccines among their workers.
“There is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of the American people vaccinated,” Biden said in suburban Chicago at an event Thursday promoting vaccines. mandates, according to the Associated Press.
“Look, I know that vaccination requirements are a tough medicine — unpopular to some, politics for others — but they’re lifesaving, they’re game-changing for our country,” Biden said.
A number of large companies, tech firms and airlines — who fit under federal contractor vaccine mandates — are mandating shots along with some state and local governments in Democratic states and regions.
But other small businesses and employers with lower-paid workforces have not yet implemented COVID vaccinations.
Vaccine hesitancy exists among some conservatives as well as African Americans, immigrants and Hispanics over current or past distrust of the U.S. government and health care system. Others worry about side effects and the fast development of COVID vaccines as well as being ordered to get a medical procedure by the government or their employers.
Locally, the Talbot County Health Department reported 22 new COVID cases on Thursday, Oct. 7.
There are 85 active cases of the virus in Talbot County. That is down from 163 cases on Sept. 29. There have been 51 deaths attributed to COVID in Talbot during the pandemic, according to the Maryland Department of Health.
MDH reports 10,320 COVID deaths statewide during the pandemic.