North Carolina hospital fires unvaccinated staff

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FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2021, file photo, Mayra Navarrete, 13, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from registered nurse, Noleen Nobleza at a clinic set up in the parking lot of CalOptima in Orange, Calif. With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health authorities said they’re confident both seniors and other vulnerable Americans seeking booster shots and parents anticipating approval of initial shots for young children will have easy access. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A North Carolina-based hospital system announced Monday that more than 175 of its workers have been fired for failing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Last week, Novant Health announced 375 employees had been suspended and given five days to comply with the mandate. The deadline was Friday.

Nearly 200 of those employees came into compliance, Spokesperson Megan Rivers said in an email Monday. Rivers didn’t provide specific numbers on how many out of the 375 were in compliance and how many lost their jobs.

More than 99% of Novant Health’s 35,000-plus employees are now compliant with the vaccine mandate, including employees who have submitted an approved religious or medical vaccine exemption, according to a statement.

The Winston-Salem-based system includes 15 hospitals, 800 clinics and hundreds of outpatient facilities.

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