Beaumont suspends 370 workers over COVID vaccine mandate

Just over 1 percent of Beaumont Health System’s workforce, or 370 of its roughly 33,000 workers, were suspended this week for not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the system told Crain’s Thursday.

The Southfield-based health system announced all employees, contractors and vendors had to receive the vaccine for continued employment in late July with a later established Oct. 18 deadline.

The 370 workers have until Nov. 16 to receive the vaccine or their employment will be terminated, Mark Geary, head of communications for Beaumont, told Crain’s in an email.

An additional 70 employees resigned due to the mandate, which had a deadline of Oct. 18.

Suspended workers can return to work once they have received the vaccine.

“We hope that those 370 employees will choose to get vaccinated and return to work soon,” Geary said in the statement.

Read more: The vaccine mandate staffing crisis that wasn’t

Beaumont rival Henry Ford Health System parted ways with 400 employees early this month after those employees also chose not to receive the vaccine. They are allowed to return to work once vaccinated, but so far none have rejoined the company, the Detroit-based system confirmed to Crain’s.

The mandate — which was announced in June with an original Sept. 10 deadline — comes at a time when hospitals across the state are dealing with labor shortages.

Henry Ford Health recently temporarily closed 120 beds, or about 7 percent of its total, due to its inability to staff for potential patients. The bulk of the temporarily closed beds are in Detroit and Jackson.

Beaumont and Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor have also closed beds due to staffing shortages.

However, it’s unclear whether the resignations will impact the ability to staff beds moving forward.

Michigan Medicine’s vaccine mandate deadline is Nov. 1.

HFHS was the first major hospital system in the state to mandate the vaccine, though many others joined in shortly afterward.

However, the mandates will eventually be superseded by an executive order from President Joe Biden. In August, Biden ordered the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to mandate the COVID vaccine for all hospitals and health care providers that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding. That order is expected to be issued some time this month.

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