Essentia Health announces 49 workers have been let go due to vaccine mandate

Photo by: Essentia Health
Photo by: Essentia Health

(Fargo, ND) -- The vaccine mandate for both Sanford and Essentia Health has gone into effect, and that unfortunately means some layoffs.

Essentia is reporting as of Monday afternoon that 49 workers have been let go after either not getting vaccinated, or applying for religious or medical exemptions.

A statement released to WDAY Radio reads in part:

"As of today, more than 99% of Essentia Health’s workforce is either vaccinated against COVID-19 or has applied for an exemption. The judicious evaluation of exemption requests continues. Until this process is complete, the full impact on our staffing will not be known. Today, 49 employees were dismissed because they decided against vaccination and chose not to seek an exemption. While we’re sad to see them leave, we respect their decisions. We appreciate their good work, wish them well and these individuals are eligible for rehire at Essentia Health if they change their mind.

At Essentia, it is both our privilege to care for patients and our obligation to keep them safe. That’s why, like so many health care systems across the country, we require our employees to be vaccinated against COVID as a condition of their employment. For the overwhelming majority of our colleagues who have complied, we are grateful for their unwavering commitment to patient care."

It is unclear at this time how the departure of the 49 workers will affect the current worker shortages across Essentia.