Intermountain Healthcare announced Wednesday that in order to comply with federal rules it will require its caregivers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Speaking to a mid-morning press briefing via Zoom, Dr. Mark Briesacher, chief physician executive for Intermountain, said employees who are unvaccinated by Feb. 9 will be dismissed.
He explained the process for Intermountain Healthcare caregivers.
“We’re starting from a really good place. Over 75 percent of Intermountain caregivers are fully vaccinated and almost 85 percent have started the vaccination process,” Dr. Briesacher stated. “We care deeply about everyone who works in healthcare and we’ve come up with an approach that is really focused on listening, on understanding questions, answering those questions and helping people through the decision-making process.”
Dr. Briesacher said the company’s caregivers have been asked to submit any medical and religious exemptions by Dec. 1.
“We’ve created a flow that is electronic in nature so that the exemption forms can be completed,” Dr. Briesacher continued. “They also can be printed off and they can work with their medical providers for their medical exemptions, then they themselves can attest to the religious exemptions.”
Since Tuesday, 22 more Utahns died of COVID-19, including two Box Elder County men — one 65-84 years of age and one older than 85 — and two Cache County women, both 65-84 years old. From the start of the pandemic the lives of 3,181 Utahns have been lost to the virus, including 157 in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties.
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) reported 2,068 new positive cases of coronavirus Wednesday, 137 of those in northern Utah. Including Wednesday’s totals, there have been 546,213 positive cases in Utah.
The total northern Utah case count has reached 30,345 and 28,703 northern Utahns are listed as totally recovered while 1,400 in the district have been hospitalized during the pandemic.
Idaho’s Wednesday COVID update indicates 3,473 coronavirus deaths and the new total of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 287,679 statewide. New case counts in the three southeast Idaho counties include 1,570 total positives in Franklin County, 682 in Bear Lake County and 534 in Oneida County.