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Carilion offering bonuses to vaccinated employees

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 2:25 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Carilion Clinic employees who are vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1 will each get a $150 bonus. After October 1, employees who choose not to get vaccinated will be tested weekly. The testing requirement will be re-evaluated regularly, says Carilion, based on the positivity rate and other factors in the region.

“Vaccination is a personal choice so we’re really trying to balance all that out,” says Jeanne Armentrout, chief administrative officer for Carilion Clinic. “We really wanted to step back and recognize their resilience and positivity and frankly how they’ve role-modeled for the community; they’re taken care of some of the very sickest COVID patients.”

All 13,000 Carilion employees are eligible for the bonus, and the money will come from Carilion’s operations budget.

Officials say the vaccine is still offered to employees every day.

When asked about a vaccine requirement, Carilion says that is not yet in sight but tedious testing protocol may persuade more workers as time goes on.

72% of Carilion employees are vaccinated as of Wednesday.

“Our top priority is to keep our communities healthy,” added Armentrout. “Getting the vaccine is a crucial way our employees can continue to fight back against this deadly virus. We wish to recognize the high vaccination rate among our staff and encourage more vaccinations.”

“More than 70% of our workforce and 99% of our physicians have already received the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Armentrout. “Vaccination is the best way to protect against severe illness. For those unable to receive the vaccine and those still considering it, weekly testing combined with proper use of masks allows us to protect our patients, visitors and staff.”

Masks and/or other personal protective equipment are already required for any employee engaging with colleagues, patients or visitors at Carilion.

LewisGale encourages vaccinations among employees, but does not require them, according to a hospital spokesperson, who says, “Our hospitals follow guidance outlined by the CDC regarding protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in our facilities, including universal masking for all colleagues, patients and visitors. At this time, our colleagues are not required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but we highly encourage our employees and the public to consider vaccination to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe.”

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