OhioHealth, the nonprofit health care chain with a substantial presence in Richland County, appears to be treading treacherous waters very carefully indeed.
Consider, for instance, a news release from OhioHealth dated December 2, and which references the new omicron variant while emphasizing on the need for vaccinations. “Nothing really changes what we’re doing. The best defense we have for infection, whether with this variant or the delta variant, still is to get vaccinated.”
On Monday, however, the health care company announced that it was “pausing” its timeline for employees to be fully vaccinated or potentially lose their positions. This hesitation comes after numerous employees voiced concerns about the processing of religious exemption forms that would address the issue.
The reason given? “[R]ecent regulatory and legislative issues….” No specifics were given as to what those matters were, nor was it clear if and when the paused timeline would return. “We are moving forward with our decision to require the COVID-19 vaccine or have an approved medical or religious exemption,” OhioHealth stated.
OhioHealth owns and operates Mansfield Hospital and Shelby Hospital.
Avita Health System employees were also given a deadline for receiving required vaccinations. In a story issued last week, Avita noted that 97% of its hospitalizations involved non-vaccinated patients. At the time, the system was at 112% of normal bed capacity, it shared.