Now that the deadline has passed, here’s how many local health care workers are vaccinated


A shot of a Sentara COVID-19 testing site in March 2020. (WAVY photo)

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Major health care organizations with facilities in the Hampton Roads area have confirmed more than 90% of their employees are now vaccinated against COVID-19.

In August, 10 On Your Side reported that Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters Health System, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare announced that they were requiring all team members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18, 2021, or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption.

Chesapeake Regional

Chesapeake Regional Healthcare says 98% of its 2,450 employees complied with the vaccination policy, with almost 92% employees now fully vaccinated.

As for employees not in compliance by this past Monday, Chesapeake Regional says, “an unvaccinated employee can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit an exemption at any time, which would end their disciplinary process.”

Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters

CHKD says 96% of its 3,400 employees met the October 18 deadline to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an approved exemption. Another 3% of employees have received their first dose of the vaccine, according to a statement from CHKD, making 99% of employees compliant.

That final 1% is made up of 20 employees who are on leave, but are expected to be fully vaccinated upon their return.

Employees who received an exemption will be subject to safety restrictions based on their role.

Sentara Healthcare

As of October 21, Sentara Healthcare says 94% of its 29,000 employees are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or have received an approved exemption. Another 3% have received their first dose and are expected to receive full vaccination shortly.

“The remaining 3% percent of employees have records that do not reflect a vaccination or an approved exemption. This includes some employees on family or medical leave and have an extended deadline to become compliant with our policy when they return from leave,” a statement from Sentara Healthcare stated.

Sentara employees who do not comply with the vaccination policy will face the organization’s “standard disciplinary process” and unvaccinated employees will be required to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE).

“We are most appreciative of our team members who embraced the importance of this safety standard and received a COVID-19 vaccine or an approved exemption,” said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer for Sentara Healthcare and the Sentara COVID-19 Task Force Executive Leader.

Riverside Health System

Meanwhile, more than 90% of the team members at Riverside Health System have reportedly complied with the COVID-19 vaccine policy. That’s the number of employees who either met the October 18 vaccination deadline or received an approved exemption by that date.

“By far, the biggest challenge facing health systems is the large number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients we are caring for in our hospitals,” said Michael Dacey, M.D., president and chief operating officer at Riverside Health System. “We encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine and partner with us to make our communities healthier.”

Bon Secours

Bon Secours is also requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and made that announcement in September. In a statement to 10 On Your Side, a spokesperson said that decision was made “based on our belief that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any potential risks.”

All Bon Secours associates must receive at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by early November and be fully vaccinated by Dec. 1, or be approved for religious or medical exemptions.

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Senatara COVID-19 Infographic (Dec. 2020)

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