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Emotions run high on mandate deadline day; unvaccinated St. Charles workers sidelined

(Update: Adding video, comments from protesters, St. Charles official)

Hospital system says 180 left recently; few denied exceptions but dozens didn't turn in forms; 940 vacancies; rally on street

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A row of shoes, left behind by now-former hospital staff, lined the edge of Neff Road near St. Charles Bend as protesters rallied against the state and hospital's vaccine mandate on Monday's deadline.

“Those are their shoes, their work shoes that they wore while working for the hospital, they’re turning them in," said Chris Robson, a now-former St. Charles volunteer. "It’s a symbol of, ‘I’m done.’”

As the state vaccination mandate deadline for all health care and public school workers and thousands of state employees arrived, St. Charles Health System reported that 93.5% of its caregivers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while another 51 have started getting the shots -- and 180 have left the organization.

More than 200 were granted religious exceptions, a handful got medical exceptions and dozens of others never completed the process, St. Charles said.

Lorna Mulkey, a nurse at St. Charles for the past 16 years, said she was approved for a religious exemption, but she did not believe the accommodations were fair. If granted an exception, caregivers were offered an accommodation, which could include reassignment to a remote role -- or an unpaid leave of absence. 

"With what we do for a living, that doesn't really work in a remote way," said Mulkey, who was placed on unpaid leave as of Monday.

Word of the numbers came as dozens rallied on streets by the Bend hospital -- some simply in support of the workers, with others were strongly opposed to and upset by the state mandate and its impacts on the hospital and elsewhere.

"This is going to hurt the community, it is a terrible time," said Mulkey.

In August, Gov. Kate Brown announced a health and safety rule that required employees in health care and public school settings and thousands of state Executive Branch employees to provide proof of vaccination by Oct. 18, .

Caregivers were provided the option of becoming fully vaccinated or applying for a religious or medical exception.

St. Charles said 84 caregivers applied for medical exceptions, of which five were approved, 17 were denied and 62 didn’t complete and return the necessary forms. The four-hospital system said another 271 caregivers applied for religious exceptions, of which 211 were approved, five were declined and 55 either didn’t complete and return the necessary forms, or were asked to elaborate on their application and did not.

Of the 323 caregivers who applied for exceptions, 49 were reasonably accommodated with remote work and 101 were provided an unpaid leave of absence, St. Charles said. Of that same group of 323 caregivers, 98 chose to start their vaccination series after initially requesting an exception.

"These are spread throughout the organization," St. Charles Chief Physician Executive Dr. Jeff Absalon told NewsChannel 21. "We’re continuing to assess where we have impact in opportunities moving forward."

Those who were unable to comply "are considered to have voluntarily resigned their positions with St. Charles, and their employment ended after their last scheduled shift," the health system said.

So far this month, 180 caregivers have left the organization. Of that group, 134 caregivers’ employment ended during the week leading up to Monday's deadline.

“We can’t be certain how many of those 180 caregivers left the organization because of the mandate,” said Vice President of Human Resources Rebecca Berry. “But we believe most of those who left us last week were impacted by this rule.”

Of those who left the organization, 111 were full-time, 18 were part-time and 50 were relief workers. Relief caregivers are not assigned regular shifts and work on an as-needed basis.

The hospital reported a total workforce as of Monday of 4,533 caregivers, about 100 fewer than this year's report of 4,626 workers as it remained atop Economic Development for Central Oregon's list of the largest private employers (Adobe PDF).

“We are grateful to the overwhelming majority of our caregivers who made the decision to get vaccinated, protecting themselves, their patients and our community,” Absalon said in Monday's news release. “But we also recognize that our caregivers had a choice, and we respect each person, no matter what decision they made. We sincerely thank those caregivers for their service, especially throughout the pandemic. This hasn’t been an easy time for any of us.”       

Including the recent resignations, St. Charles said it's now striving to fill 940 open positions, and about 200 people are in the process of being hired. Last week, the organization said, it made the decision to raise its minimum wage from $15.23 to $18 an hour, effective Oct. 31, "to remain competitive in the local market and bolster retention."

At the same time, the organization said it "is aggressively recruiting for these roles, it is also leveraging traveling health care workers to fill staffing gaps."

Absalon said he's never seen a situation like this before.

“These are the circumstances of our environment, and we’re of course working hard to secure the highest level of care everywhere that we do that,” he said.

A handful of supporters gathered at a different entrance on Monday morning to cheer on the remaining health care workers.

St. Charles said it also continues to be supported by 80 Oregon National Guard troops, who are currently planning to leave Oct. 31, and 120 state-allocated traveling health care workers, who are scheduled through Nov. 22.

As for other Central Oregon health care providers, the clinic administrator for Family Choice Urgent Care in Bend and Redmond told NewsChannel 21 about 90 percent of its staff is vaccinated. The remaining 10 percent were given an accommodation.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

KTVZ news sources

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.

Comments

246 Comments

    1. I hope they denote the nonvaxxed staff and allow patience to refuse services from them in lieu of vaxxed staff. If its my body, my choice, I dont want any anti-vaxxers anywhere near me, especially in a setting like a hospital.

      And no way I would want anyone ignorant enough to refuse a vaccine to perform some sort of medical procedure on me.

        1. Yes, having lost a “massive” 2.5 % of their staff and the virus in decline this is a certain disaster. If you’re into conspiracies !!!! These poor trump kooks now out of job AND unemployment benefits, but they they showed ole governor Kate Brown a thing or two didn’t they!!!! Soooooooo much losing for the trump Borg!!!!!!

          1. Check the finer details again- St Charles “needs” 940 new hires- while at the same time laying off workers by the hundreds- not sure what President Trump has to do with any of that- this is on Biden and Brown- Sooooo much losing for the State-Region and Nation !

      1. If you’ve been vaxxed you have nothing to fear do you. Or, do you? Liberals claim “My Body, My Choice” and that goes across the board. Until they don’t like the agenda then it’s “Your Body, My Choice” like it or not.

        1. For the zillionth time – you can still get the virus if vaccinated, though large majority of those seriously ill are the unvaccinated.
          So yes, your actions or choices affect others directly. As in any community where people care about others.

          1. Barney, yes we all are blessed to be part of the same ecosystem, and no man is an island. In that sense, our actions and choices do affect others as in the chaos theory of a butterfly flapping it’s wings half a world away. Context matters though, and to claim that the unvaccinated have a direct effect on others is a stretch – especially in light of the science that’s proven the vaccine does not preclude infection or transmission. However, the mandate itself that is taking educators, coaches, medical professionals and EMTs away from their roles in making our world a better place does have indisputable and direct implications for all of us – and our community will suffer for it. You’ve previously used the medical capacity argument as justification for mandates. Now that we’re on we’re on the downslope on the latest surge, do you still feel it justifies requiring good people to put a chemical in their bodies they don’t want? Now that medical science has proven that many that have already had Covid possess antibodies equal to those vaccinated, should a government mandate still apply in those cases as well? I worry when well meaning and thoughtful people like yourself would give up individual liberties in the name of “public health”, when that same standard could easily be applied to alcohol or cannabis use, obesity, screen time, or even piloting your own car down the road. That slippery slope easily descends to a government more resembling communist China than a county founded on liberty. Regardless, I’m thankful for the work you do in making this forum available. I do learn something from other’s opinions even when I take exception to them. And for that I say thanks.

            1. You have not refuted that the large majority of those seriously ill are not or not fully vaccinated.
              That should refute many of the critics’ arguments, but clearly they just keep on.
              One side cannot claim it’s only the evil other side that’s playing politics and promoting fear. Because it’s not true (poison jab! etc.)

              1. what is the % of people who died from just Covid 19, no underlying conditions, not one? Also, what percentage of those people were vaccinated? Why is it so hard to get a straight answer from anyone regarding this?

                1. Because it’s akin to saying “they were old, feeble and would have died anyway.” There have been people in their 20s, 30s, 40s dying “from/with” this virus. Answers aplenty – you just haven’t liked/accepted them. Their grieving families don’t deserve uncaring judgments.

                2. The number of people in Oregon dying solely from the virus would be 2% of 4226- or 85… Those numbers and definitions provided by the OHA- anyone else not answering your question directly is to be ignored as a propagandist… the kind of person who either benefits from the chaos- or has an agenda… and they know who they are.

                1. Mmhmmm They’re the one worshipping a tangerine demagogue and trying to destroy democracy. I’ve got a fine bridge you may be interested in purchasing.

                1. you too can not wear a mask in a restaurant if you are eating! try to get a basic clue!

                2. Biden photographed without a single bite in his mouth- lets stop pretending otherwise.

            2. Well said. Watched a You Tube video the other day where a Russian girl compared Russia of today with the USSR. Lot of parables on the video with what is going on today in the US and they didn’t even discuss the dreaded virus.

                1. CNN posts videos on YouTube. As do all the major networks. So you are correct, being on YouTube does not make it true and neither does it being on a major news outlet make it true. Truth is truth regardless of the source. Lies are also lies regardless of the source.

                2. Z21 posts their videos on YouTube… are we to view those with the same level of contempt and scorn ?

          2. Why not emphasize the fact those with exemptions were offered a reasonable accommodation, which could include reassignment to a remote role or an unpaid leave of absence rather than use politically charged statements sine you are such a caring human being that is frustrated with the “blame society”!

            1. We ran the full St. Charles statement, of course, but the reactions of those on the street were compelling and worth sharing.
              And I’ll leave it to others as to whether they feel an unpaid leave of absence is considered a “reasonable accommodation.”

            1. He also had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that impairs the body’s ability to fight infection. Studies have shown that those cancer patients don’t get as much protection from the COVID-19 vaccines as healthier people. So your Trumpish poing is?

            2. He had multiple myeloma. I doubt you even know what that is (I’m a cancer nurse). Why don’t you read up on his diagnosis (although you will probably have a seizure trying to understand what MM is and how chemo affects your immune system) DUH

          3. Great point Barney. But if you can still get the virus and spread the virus if you are vaccinated, as you stated, then why are the vaccinated allowed to still work in the hospital and possibly spread the virus to others, just as the unvaccinated? Using that same logic shouldn’t we be banning both the vaccinated and unvaccinated since they both carry the ability to get the virus and spread the virus????

            1. Barneygetshiswish agrees with your observation because BGHW has no political agenda- no hatred for the US constitution- and believes in science- but thanks for asking anyway !

      2. I agree.
        I worked as an RN and relief floor supervisor at St. Charles, for MANY years, and I would refuse treatment, or services, from any unvaccinated employee.
        And, good luck finding employment at ANY other hospital in the whole of Central Oregon, because they’re ALL owned by St. Charles. which IMO should be illegal.
        I guess Nurses will have to move to another city to find a job, and even then, there’s no guarantee those hospitals won’t require a COVID vaccination as well.
        That’s a lot of expensive education down the drain for nothing, since we’ve been vaccinated a gazillion times over our lifetime.
        You can’t even start school without childhood vaccinations, and, there had to be that ‘FIRST’ child to ever get one.

          1. Guess it’s for the best because I’m sure the actual nurses at St. Charles, working their butts off to save the unvaccinated are pretty tired of hearing these types of comments.

        1. lolol How are you going to tell what caregiver is vaxxed or not? Are you going to ask for an id card before they draw blood? And here we have been being told that id cards were racist at the minimum.

      3. Since you are fully vaccinated why do you fear the unvaccinated so much? It’s an honest question. Most of us have had Covid and now have natural immunity. Many researchers are finding that natural immunity seems to be good for up to a year or more. So why would I be a threat to you with the vaccine?
        Seems to me that everyone with the vaccine is still afraid of Covid…why? Does it work? The answer is quickly coming to light on college campuses near us all! Universities required vaccination to continue this year, yet outbreaks are happening across campuses in the US. Israel which is the most vaccinated country in the world is 96% vaccinated, yet they have the highest daily rate of covid cases right now and high death rates. They use Pfizer only…

        1. Why do you keep asking the same question over and over? The mandates apply to all because yes, even the vaccinated can get ill. But the odds of survival (and not even getting very ill) go way up if vaccinated, according to all the data you dismiss.

        2. One word, variants. Look it up, look up how they occur. I know you already know this and are just still pushing the Trumper agenda, but try to get caught up, this has been going on for quite some time now.

      4. In the meantime hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are crossing our southern border unmitigated many of whom are unvaccinated yet you seem to be okay with that.

      5. Not to worry. EVERYONE who refused the jab was “let go”. The 200 that received religious exemption/exception are now placed on indefinite unpaid leave of absence with likelihood of being terminated in January so……….

      1. oregone,
        YES, there are so many ‘stupid’ nurses it would shock the public.
        There are nurses that don’t even WASH THERE HANDS when entering or leaving a patient’s room. Are you truly going to say you have never met a nurse that didn’t have even basic knowledge of every body system? e.g. renal, cardiac, respiratory, etc? Well, I would have to honestly say ‘the majority of nurses DON’T know medicine. They don’t understand labs, they don’t know how to read an EKG, they don’t even know what medications they are giving.
        So, IMO, a nurse that refuses a vaccination that is safe and effective DOESN’T know medicine, and is the same nurse that doesn’t wash his/her hands.
        And, I would like to know the college you graduated from, the degree you have, and what area of expertise you claim.
        Because, I would guess you are a CNA.

        1. Well I’ve been a acute care RN for 20+ years at St Charles. As I have said. What about you? Nurse for 2 years? Think you know it all? A big shot? Gonna go for CHARGE NURSE PCU????

    2. I’ll take that bet. You clearly don’t know much about doctors. But here’s a hint: doctors make medical decisions based on science, not politics. They consume unfiltered medical data and are skilled in the art of risk assessment. It’s what they do. It’s no surprise polls show those with the highest levels of education are the least likely group to get vaccinated. Highly educated people know how to source, process and apply complex information.

        1. Even FDA approved pharmaceuticals have been later proven to be an FDA mistake. You trust the same FDA that approves the mass chemicals in our foods that continuously cause irreparable harm? One of the biggest causes of obesity, high fructose corn syrup. One of the leading causes of high cholesterol, hydrogenate oil, AKA, trans fat. that’s just the beginning of what is approved by your beloved FDA. How about the cancer causing artificial sweeteners like saccharine, approved by the FDA.

        2. I don’t take any prescription medication so I’m not the one to ask but you make a good point, and one that is often overlooked. Politicians are not doctors.

      1. “Education is a bigger factor than race in desire for COVID-19 vaccine
        Results from a new USC Dornsife study show that U.S. adults with higher education are significantly more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccination and to believe in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.” USC News

        1. Getting vaccinated has nothing to do with education. This has everything to do with Big Government overreach, money, power and control. Yes, those who have a higher education understand the science of how the vaccine works but they aren’t listening to the science and how these mandates aren’t needed. Please explain to me, if you can, why do Americans have to comply with these mandates and yet 1.5 million (plus) illegal aliens aren’t being vaxxed or tested? Oh!, I forgot, Covid respects the law breaking illegal alien entering the USA but blatantly has no respect for Americans and those here legally.

          1. So what government is doing the controlling? Every one of them? They all agreed to go along with this hoax just to control people? Why? Why, would they even want to?

  1. Vaccination is an all or nothing prospect. By allowing exceptions it renders the entire process worthless. Will non-vaccinated staff be marked somehow and patients allowed to refuse to let those people provide them service?

        1. You are right the state changed it to exception to keep from having a complete collapse now they can force them to get the shot or fire them at their own will as they can replace them. That’s why I didn’t do that BS. If you received a exception this is what’s going to happen. Start looking for employment someplace else.

    1. Reading is fundamental. As Barney explained, it is covered in the article. Most of the exceptions are those who have been working from home and never come in contact with patients. So you don’t have to worry or fear all the people you don’t agree with will never be near you. But you should wear two masks anyways. Also a face shield. Don’t forget your booster shot every six months. Stay at least six feet from everyone and wash your hands every ten minutes. Then you will be safe. It’s an all-or-nothing prospect.

    2. “Vaccination is an all or nothing prospect” Not even close to being true. “allowing exceptions it renders the entire process worthless” Also completely untrue. And you offered this “no way I would want anyone ignorant enough to refuse a vaccine to perform some sort of medical procedure on me”. Here we have a person who has demonstrated a complete lack of medical understanding proceed to accuse medical staff of being ignorant. Typical day on the KTVZ comment board I guess.

    3. Right! Maybe an identification badge to indicate who they are and what their vax status is. In fact lets not stop there. Make it mandatory across the country. Show me your papers or your badge!

        1. Getting registered to vote when you get your drivers license seems pretty slam-dunk, huh?
          “LET ME SEE YOUR LI… oh, yeah, I just gave you your drivers license. Well then, here’s your voters registration”. Pretty straight forward, huh?

    4. Dear blue – and those like you, I’ve come to see that facts, logic, and critical reasoning are no match for your ideological myopia. The fact that these vaccinations do not preclude infection or transmission will not change your opinion. It’s of value to me to occasionally read these comments to get a sense of how others see the world though. Be well.

      1. Hey shadetree, Vaccinated people are 4.5 less likely to transmit Covid. Un-vaccinated are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and un-vaccinated are 11 times more likely to die.

        These people did have a choice and they took it, now those who care about those they take care of can have their jobs and they can find something new some where else.

        1. “those who care about those they take care of”. That’s a nice addition to the list of disparaging remarks found on this page. And you must know those numbers you cite are not being seen outside the USA, right? We must have the good vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer woohoo! Except those same vaccines are being used in Europe where they report unvaccinated infections are 3X more likely to be hospitalized and die. That’s a big difference from 11X. Maybe Europe is lying. Or maybe you are getting bad information. That’s why it’s important to look outside our politically influenced channels.

    5. There is no such thing as “non vaccinated staff” now… St Charles so called exception, not exemption means if approved you are still put on unpaid leave.. And maybe it should go the other way around ya know.. Vaccinated staff shouldn’t have to take care of unvaxed patients.. Does that seem fair?

    6. They’re already doing it to themselves for everyone else. They have big crosses on their necks, they have stickers on their cars with blue, green and red lines in the American flag. They say y’all a lot. They’re not smart and communicate by screaming and calling names.

    7. As much as people think vaccination is black and white, it’s not. What we need is a high percentage of people with a good degree of immunity.

      They can get that by having had COVID or by getting vaccinated. And while neither of those give you 100% assurance you’ll never get COVID again, they do reduce the odds that you’ll get it.

      And that reduction of odds is what prevents spread. We killed smallpox with a vaccine that wasn’t completely effective nor administered to 100% of the population. (The last person on Earth to die of smallpox had been vaccinated–a dubious honor, at best.)

      The more immunity you have in a populace, the less likely the spread. It’s a sliding scale. But if you get enough immunity, then the illness will be restricted to small outbreaks. Simply put, with enough immunity, the virus has to get really lucky to be able to spread to the next person. If that amount of luck exceeds the virus’s ability to spread, it dies out fast.

      We just have to get to that threshold. One could get vaccinated, or one could get COVID. Vaccination carries an orders-of-magnitude lower chance of death than COVID, and also proactively prevents the spread of COVID. But you’ll have to take a chance with a type of vaccine that’s only been in R&D for 20 years and has never been effectively deployed before now.

      Live or die, either way you’re contributing to the upward trend of percentage of the population who is unlikely to get COVID.

      We will, eventually, get to the point that COVID-19 delta outbreaks are small. As for the next variant, who knows how immune people will be. One of the many reasons it’s important to get population immunity quickly is to stop providing the breeding ground that evolves these new, more dangerous variants.

  2. 940 unfilled vacancies is what percentage of their entire payroll? Are these essential staff or paper pushers? With that many vacancies, they should rethink these positions and eliminate or merge the redundancy.

  3. I would like to just say that it has been a pleasure caring for this community for the last 20+ years at St Charles. I’ve probably cared for you or a loved one if you’ve lived here for any length of time. I have worked with some amazing staff too. It’s been a good run. I know the haters will bash me as soon as I send this, but before they do I just want to say thank you for trusting me to care for you in times of uncertainty. It truly was a pleasure.

    As far as st Charles staffing goes. I don’t see what their endgame can be. Travel nurses are expensive and short term. I do think if you are hospitalized you should pay close attention to the care you are receiving. Many of these nurses are here for only a couple of months compared to nurses who are leaving with decades of experience at st Charles.

    Stay safe.

    1. Thank you for serving the community for all those years. May your road ahead be blessed with great joy and happiness. Forgive those who bash you. They do not understand where you are coming from and the knowledge you possess. They know not what they do.

    2. Thank you for your decades of care and hard work. I’m sorry you chose not to get vaccinated as it is a loss both for you and those who would’ve been your future patients. Best of luck (sincerely) in your next endeavor.

      1. You do not know what is best for her. Since she has been in medicine for many years the logical conclusion would be that she has carefully evaluated the risk/reward of getting vaccinated and clearly decided against it. You think you know the future based on what you wrote. But it may be that she had made a very intelligent and wise decision. We will all only know who chose wisely and who choose poorly years from now.

              1. They can’t. It’s a Trumper talking point. They get if from Fox, OAN, Newsmax, YouTube and other places. It makes the uneducated feel better to say Fauci lied, they think it makes them smarter in some way.

              2. How about a youtube link? Dr. Fauci himself is explaining why he lied about mask effectiveness, but he had his reasons for conserving masks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2MmX2U2V3c. I tried to find the least biased news sources, and The Hill seems relatively well balanced.

                Next is that we won’t have a vaccine in under a year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbwVrTZFBpw. Even just prior to the election he was stating it wouldn’t be ready but: https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-vaccine-fauci-says-unlikely-before-election-2020-9

                Then there’s the gain of function research funded indirectly by the NIH https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UlIz7tVG5o.

                Not so much an over lie, but lies by omission by avoiding talking about those who have been infected having good immunity and thus the vaccination isn’t necessary.

                1. @Skittish: as to your first point on Fauci lying about mask effectiveness–that video is being selective. There is more to the story. Check THIS link out and scroll down to the subheading “Fauci’s Comments on Masks”. While the article is refuting a different “journalist” who clainms Fauci lied, you will note that the quoted text box from Fauci is identical to the one on Krystal and Saagar which you linked to:

                  https://www.factcheck.org/2021/02/scicheck-video-wrong-about-fauci-covid-19/

                  I could go on, but I’m tired of spending time trying to refute the biased misrepresentations and half-truths that fanatical conservatives are trying to promote. Besides, anyone using this messageboard can likely do the necessary Googling to find the whole truth themselves. But nice try, Skittish.

      2. Thank you sagerat, will be most likely cashing in on the insane travel nurse money, ironically caring for patients in other cities and/or states. I find joy know that I will be able to provide great care for a hospital system that wants me and not bowing down to a system that does not care about my medical decisions. BTW many of us were willing to test weekly, wear N95’s, etc….and it was a hard NO. They believe we are disposable.

        1. Travel nursing is fun and rewarding. We did it for 4.5 years. It’s a lifestyle best experienced through full embrace. Ditch everything that slows you down. Travel light. Don’t be afraid to fire your agent. Don’t get suckered into exotic destinations. When you arrive at a new place, first thing get a paper map and hang it on the wall. When you are exploring an area, look beyond tourist attractions because that is where you find a semblance of community belonging, and that becomes increasingly important as years pass. Traveling can also be lonely, which is ultimately why we dropped out. Good luck to you.

        2. I do recall St. Charles releasing a statement that the staff were getting infected out in the community, not in the hospital, as the rates of infection were the same as the community. So, it looks like everything was going fine by their own data and interpretation.

        3. News flash. They won’t let you work as a travel nurse without being vaccinate sweetheart. Good luck b/c the agencies are the ones that handle your contracts and payment. If you want a job at a hospital that doesn’t enforce vaccines you will need to be hired by them directly and not at all for the $ of a travel nurse. Yeah-this is a FACT.

    3. Thank you for serving this community and forgive the ones who so ignorantly misunderstand what this is all about. Free Choice is the real issue. I applaud your personal dignity and your courageous stand; which will reflect in time when freedoms are better understood. Let the bashers who have calloused fingers from constant typing begin.

    4. As a former employee of scmc, I totally agree with your decision. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been about treating patients there for over a decade. There is more than meets the eye for their decision to terminate long standing employees like yourself. In my opinion, it’s all about keeping in step with current political interests so the hospital can continue to make huge profits. Patients beware!

    5. Thank you for all you have done for so many. It is sad that one day you were a hero, and then after doing your job for so many years, and almost 2 dealing with COVID, that you are now expendable. What is even more sad are people like you are seeing on this page who have no appreciation or even intelligence of what they claim. I commend you for standing up for yourself and your belief. It is the choice of the one sided political agenda to let you go. Those who do not understand look only one way when crossing the street. This is still America, even though it does not look like it right now. We have the right to choose our own health, just as the vaccinated did. The hypocrisy and ignorance runs deep. Be proud of yourself, many people are proud of you too.

    6. My daughter is a travel nurse (and I’m an RN with over 20 years experience). She trained in the best school in the USA and takes exceptional care for her patients. I can’t WAIT for her to come here to Bend and show you guys what quality care really is. Absolutely can’t wait. These nurses don’t have a couple of months experience (maybe some do but most don’t) so stop spreading false news to make it look like your leaving St. Charles is a deal breaker. It’s not! Good luck to you

  4. The fact that they were able to get rid of incompetent people like these without paying unemployment or anything is absolutely amazing. This is great news for Central Oregon. Good riddance to these flat earthers. They should never be allowed in a medical field.

      1. I know that there are some amazing care staff at St. Charles. That doesn’t change their consistent “C” rating in patient safety over the years. I prefer to go to a reputable hospital. The only thing St, Charles has going for it is their regional monopoly on hospital care.

  5. I know two vaccinated nurses that found other jobs and quit this month because, after a year and half of working in crisis mode, they are fed up and burnt out. The St Charles protestors were the final straw for both of them. Good job RabidRight. Way to go.

    1. I know of those who were vaccinated who also quit SC because of how SC was treating those with differing views and forcing them to comply after they had served the CO community for years including during the entire “Covid Crisis”. A lot of people who are vaccinated are totally against the mandates including a large part of those working at SC. Get outside your bubble.

        1. Florida is not and their case numbers are dropping rapidly thereby showing that the mandates are not necessarily needed. We are participating in a long-running science experiment that is years from completion. When the experiment is completed then we can determine what was needed and what wasn’t. https://www.google.com/search?q=florida+covid+cases&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS751US751&oq=floride+covid&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0i10i433l4j0i10i433i457j0i10i433l4.8779j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

                1. “Fifteen of the 16 ICU patients were not fully vacciated, and 61 of the 79 patients were not fully vaccinated”
                  That’s 93% of ICU patients not vaccinated, and 77% hospitalized not vaccinated, but hey we need WAY more proof these vaccines that 80% of Oregon adults have safely taken are safe, right?

            1. The 80/20 rule is valid for almost any situation.
              20 percent of employees do 80 percent of the work.
              20 percent of the people cause 80 percent of problems.
              80 percent of adults in Central Oregon are vaccinated, but make up only 20 percent of Covid patients at St Charles.
              20 percent of maga people suffer 80 percent of all covid deaths.
              80 percent of maga locals cant tell 20 science projects from 1 political gamble to keep an old bankrupt racist reality star in power.

        2. No they are not. When we get outside the bubble of Oregon, California, and Washington we find out the world still exists and is able to live. Is the reason we don’t hear about Sweden, or South Dakota, or Florida, or Texas, etc as much any more because they are all dead or because the virus hasn’t killed them all off as forcast by the naysayers?

          1. STOCKHOLM, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Sweden will ramp up efforts to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 in the face of a flagging inoculation drive, with authorities warning on Wednesday that the unvaccinated might have to live with restrictions longer.

        3. You are slammed with stuff, but here is a high quality, in my opinion, discussion between two physicians who know how to interpret science without excessive bias.

  6. “If granted an exception, caregivers were offered a reasonable accommodation, which could include reassignment to a remote role or an unpaid leave of absence.”

    Reasonable…

    1. Can you tell me about the “science” of the long-term side effects of the vaccines? No, you can’t because that is not yet known by anyone. That is the main concern among those refusing the vaccines. The most vaccine-hesitant group are those with the most education. They know about “science” and that is why they are refusing the vaccines for now.

      1. So are we not to use any new medicine until it’s been around, say, 5, 10, 20 years? There are no guarantees that bad news wouldn’t come in year 6, 11 or 21.
        It’s a personal choice, based on risks and benefits, like most of life.

        1. It’s a personal choice, based on risks and benefits, like most of life. So shouldn’t people be free to make the personal choice that they feel is best for them?

            1. And we honestly do not know how this affects others just yet. But requiring me to give up my right to not be vaccinated is definitely affecting me and it may give me horrible side effects immediately and long term. You are justifying the definite infringement of my rights because it “may” affect others. Do you not see the contradiction? What if Trump had been re-elected and had the experts behind him as well as control of both Senate and Congress. Would you be in favor of everyone being forced to use Ivermectin daily just because Trump said so and experts you did not trust agreed?

                1. The ability for people to be free to live as they chose was what this nation was founded on. They had come from places where the people had no ability to stand up against the status quo. In order to infringe on my rights, you have to PROVE that what I am doing is in FACT harming others. You cannot infringe on my rights just because you believe that my actions may infringe on your rights. You have to prove it. You have to prove that not getting vaccinated harms others and that has NOT been proven. Since Florida is dropping in Covid case counts rapidly without mandates then scientifically speaking, the mandates do not have an effect on the number of covid cases. The science is not looking good for the mandates at all.

                2. And you have never refuted that the data shows vaxed and unvaxed transmission is equal. The data is clear that the vax lowers the death rate of an individual but it is also clear that it does nothing for the transmission rate. You consistently ignore this fact which shows where your bias lies. I am not getting the vax as I am not in a high risk category yet I will acknowledge that it lowers the death risk for people that are. Will you acknowledge that the transmission is the same?

                3. You think it’s more important that many are getting mild or asymptomatic cases. I think it’s more important that the vaccine has been shown to greatly reduce the number seriously ill or dying.
                  Both are important but neither one cancels out the other.
                  Enough with the circular debate please?

            2. And vaccinated people are just as capable of becoming infected and passing the virus on as the unvaccinated are… both “affect” others in the same manner.

            3. My choice doesn’t effect others at all. You act as though not being jabbed means I have the virus. You act as though by not getting the jab I “will get the virus. You act like you can predict the future. So, tell me, Oh Wise One< What is the meaning of life?

              1. If you still believe your choice doesn’t affect others, this discussion is over. I’ve stated why it does. When you get to “act as though” you clearly are misstating what I say, and not refuting that the vaccine greatly reduces the risk of serious illness, which if you land in the hospital affects everyone, especially the 1,000s waiting for months for desperately needed procedures.

        2. Barney they are not fda approved. Even Pfizer is not fda approved, you need the name brand Comirnaty and from what I hear is very difficult to get here.

      2. There’s literally no reason to think the vaccines will cause any problems beyond the usual one in a million bad reactions.

        On the other hand, we know MANY short and long term problems from getting COVID. Anyone willing to get COVID over the vaccine is a fool.

    2. Averageguy……just wondering, did you call us heroes at all? You know when they gave us a piece of paper taped to our face for a 12 hours shift and no one knew anything about covid? Don’t worry the door didn’t hit me. I slammed it shut.

  7. Why are the vaxxed so afraid of the unvaxxed? we are safe now right? or is it they just want everyone to be in the same boat, so if this did turn out to be a bad decision, they can feel comforted? And with brake through cases, that Vaxxed person sitting, standing, probing you, could certainly have the virus, and give it to you, as the Vaccine is only about 47% effective after six months, it is time for most of us to get juiced up again, also remember because they are vaxxed they may not get symptoms, so they don’t even know they have the COVID 19, or one of the many variants.

          1. So should we just ignore the number of people killed by drugs that were later taken off the market? See the ads on your own channel. Do those lost or damaged lives matter? Or were they just the price of progress? Even with all the precautions in place that are normally required by the FDA, many of the drugs the FDA approved had to later be pulled from the market. This time we ignored the long-term testing requirements and are forcing people to trust them or lose their livelihoods. This is why the most vaccine-hesitant are those with the most education. They know how the game is played. People should be allowed to evaluate their own risk and decide what to do for themselves.

          2. Gonna be harder counting lives lost on this one. How many ya reckon will be lost as our professional blue collars from military to law enforcement, medical to fire fighters “quit” in droves? Further crippling an already faltering economy by denying personal liberties. I’m proud to be one quitting my profession in this state. All those name calling and booing us as we leave are digging your own grave.

              1. Someguy; I sincerely doubt my open position is one you could fill. Between my wife and I; Oregon loses a heavy aircraft wildland firefighter and nurse of 20 years, not to mention about a fifth million in taxable income. What pray tell do you contribute? No one will miss us? Really? That may be true. Your response buttresses my sense: that Oregon may be so lost as to have the ignorant pitchfork wielding children push out those of us who, in my case, have literally contributed to keeping it from burning down. If you can’t see the foolishness in this, then your “not missing us” is of little concern. You soil your own nest.

                1. Forget that guy. You will be missed, both of you. Oregon is getting what’s coming to it. Where it all settles I don’t know but I sure don’t like the direction. It’s no mystery why people are leaving. Political persecution.

                2. No, nobody will miss you. Someone else will fill in both of your jobs and you’ll have achieved nothing but cutting off your own income because you had dumb ideas about vaccines. You’re both actually doing us all a greater service by removing such poor decision makers from the workforce.

              2. Someguy. We’re not cutting off our own income, nor removing from the workforce, only taking our professions to a state that is freedom loving. You failed to answer what it is you contribute to this state? No matter, I doubt by your debate abilities that it is of any worth. But since you couldn’t answer that question let me challenge you on this, “dumb ideas about the vaccine?” What’s your lofty “ideas?” What’s your education? This state loses our “service” not for our “ideas” but for its’ tyrannical overreach and denial of individual rights. We are not “servants” of the state, and our refusals are based on education, research and a desire to do What’s best for our family. There are red states that will respect that.

      1. True, but still the question of why are some of the vaxxed sitting around dwelling about the unvaxxed. I got the vaccine, and just do not get it, I just wonder about their overall mental health. It doesn’t bother me, if my neighbor decides to express his own free will, and take a chance of getting ill, or possibly dying, because he chose not to get vaccinated, just like the other neighbor who smokes, I think it’s bad idea, and may impact his small children in the future, but in the end, it is his life, and his own free will to do so, and I am sure he has seen the horrifying commercials, and knows. I don’t see the same passion, for this over that, or one of the many other life, and death decision’s we all make every day.

          1. The Vaccinated can still get, and spread the virus, just as someone who is not vaccinated, in the beginning they were pushing people to get vaccinated, so as to stop the virus, but now we know that’s not going to happen, so why
            is that false narrative still being pushed? Even if everyone was vaccinated we would still be spreading it to each other, and people with compromised health would still die, IE: Colin Powell.

      2. Barney, in Deschutes County serious illness is not common due to covid. Yes, I understand it happens, but the overall risk for most people of severe illness is a tiny fraction.

          1. So Barney, your argument is that being vaccinated will protect others but you also agree that the vaccine doesn’t keep someone from spreading it. So if a vaccinated nurse passes it on to patients with underlying health conditions are you saying that those patients are safe?

            1. No, I’m saying that if more people were vaccinated, officials say, and point to stats that back them up — their odds go way down of interacting with that nurse by landing in the hospital in the first place.

              1. That’s true. I had to be vaccinated for flu while I was giving chemotherapy to protect my immune compromised patients but the flu vax was only one component. Wearing a mask and using aseptic techniques while caring for the patient was crucial to keeping me from spreading germs because there is never a 100% guarantee for anything (except taxes and death which we all know). It’s like wearing a seat belt. Will it keep you from dying? Odds are it will reduce your chance of death; but, depending on your accident it won’t protect you 100%. There is a risk to everything. If we can reduce the risk that’s a good thing. And, I am for freedom of choice.

  8. I just finished a road trip to Michigan and back. I noticed the cities and states I traveled through, and there are many, that a very very small percentage of folks wore a mask. Oregon is all by itself with it’s mandates! Well, maybe along with Cal and Washington.

    1. Jumpin52.. because it’s a blue state ran by trannical tyrants… And this media is also… It’s all about the narrative… Not about Truth Logic and Common Sense… Oh and science… Ugh

    2. Notice that, did you? Covid isn’t even local news in many places. Covid’s impact on society is largely a non issue… except in places where it’s mandated to be an issue. Yay Oregon! I feel so safe here with our super low infection and death rate. Oh wait, that’s not true. Comparing Oregon with other states makes it seem like we are doing all this for nothing. How can that be?!? Must be misinformation.

  9. Sorry, but the “experts” have been so corrupted, mis-reported or selectively reported due to the government-MSM cabal bias in favor of massive authoritarianism, that it’s obvious the emperor wears no clothes 🤠too bad y’all parked your common sense so you can virtue signal with diaper face and endless jabs of ineffective harmful mystery potion.Good luck.

    1. The experts are now saying that I need to wear adult diapers because statistics show there is a .3% chance I may poop in my pants. When I replied no I won’t do that because I haven’t pooped my pants since I was a baby. Then the experts told me that if I didn’t wear a diaper it might cause my neighbor to poop their pants. Later I discovered the experts were all paid off by the diaper companies.

      1. absolutely.

        Remember the old cigarette commercials from the ’70’s – 9 out of 10 doctors say this one is better but it neglects to mention how many doctors, total, we asked before they found those 9 “experts”.

      1. He’s not bad mouthing “experts”. He’s bad mouthing media. The fact you think they are one and the same explains much about why you say what you do. I’ll let you in on a little secret: doctors and scientists do not talk to media. Shills talk to media.

          1. Credentialed people who provide information to media with full knowledge that it will only be used insomuch as it supports a particular narrative, is the dictionary definition of a shill. I don’t think KTVZ uses shill doctors. An argument could be made for Absolon but the issue is mainstream media who are only interested in “experts” who fit.

        1. I don’t understand you anti Trumpers keep saying that people who don’t want to get a vaccine are all his supporters. You do realize that Trump got the vaccine and pushed to get it in circulation?.Maybe it’s time to quit obsessing about him and focus on real issues.

  10. Governor Browns vaccine mandate for health care workers will kill more people than covid itself, when compared to those who get infected at a hospital vs those that can’t get treatment due to staffing shortages.

  11. the folks who were once our front line “heros” are not losing their jobs.
    nice job, dems!
    good on ya, biden!

    are you guys all starting to wake up out there?

  12. Will costs go down? I am certain the remaining employees will just transition to the extra work with smiles on their face. 180 employees and no changes? This is really bad news.

  13. Looks like the problem children are now out on the street. If they aren’t bright enough to recognize the benefits of the vaccine, they aren’t bright enough to work on me. Good riddance!

    1. So than I would assume that anyone who drinks, smokes, is overweight, speeds on 97, or any other high risk behavior cannot work on you either? You may have a tough go when you need help at some point but hey that’s on you.

    1. Kind of crazy since st Charles can’t get nurses because they can’t afford to live here. I’ve said it months ago. This will be the biggest healthcare crisis we have ever seen.

  14. Here is a question KTVZ should ask Ol St Chucks. How come I can go to a Les Schwab concert and get a rapid test in the parking lot. Get the results and go inside in 45 minutes with no masks. But a nurse gets put on leave of absence without pay even though they have a constitutional right of religious exception, but this is not a reasonable accommodation to have weekly testing ? St Charles won’t allow non vaxxed family members to visit patients even though this technology is available to local concerts???? If the public is not angry, they deserve everything they get.

    1. Comparing a concert venue to a hospital? And how much of what you and others blame on St. Charles is part of a state mandate that would be very costly to ignore or challenge? So far not one legal challenge has been agreed to by a judge after reviewing all the arguments pro and con.

    2. You are right. I went to the Luke Bryan concert outside with the wind blowing. And from what I could see there were no patients in the crowd with IV’s and hospital gowns. I assumed that the majority of the crowd was healthy. When you walk into an inpatient unit in a hospital the patients who are admitted actually don’t look like the people at the concert. Ya think that might have some logic to it? (RN to RN)?

    1. That’s the plan. Delusions implanted successfully. Wonder how SC is going to handle things in a few years if it turns out that those against the vaccines were correct and the entire staff is too sick and weak to care for anyone?

  15. Seems to me that there are several threads of comments
    1. Safety/ efficacy of Covid vaccine
    2. Personal choice
    3. Politics
    4. Mandates
    I’d like to comment on a thread that doesn’t appear yet.
    The photos of the staff protesting the vaccine have been championed by many as educated individuals. Why then, if they’re opposed to the vaccine for any reason yet claim to be caring, educated individuals are they not wearing masks while standing shoulder to shoulder with each other? To me it indicates either a fundamental disregard for the safety and health of themselves/others or a lack of understanding that masks and social distance can reduce the risk of infection. Can anyone explain to me how disregarding basic science somehow makes them noble?
    The mandate to vaccinate for certain occupations is the law ( and a mandate is a law) and St. Charles is following the law. This staff chose to disregard the law.

    1. Basic science shows the chances of outdoor transmission is nil. Basic science shows natural immunity is as good or better than vaccinated immunity. Basic science has shown who is at risk, and it’s not the average person. I don’t think you meant basic science. I think you meant “The Science”, which is select science used to support a particular belief or agenda. Vaccine mandate is the law, but that doesn’t make it right, fair or smart.

    2. Football stadiums across the United States have been filled with unmasked fans for over a month now. There have been no spikes in Covid cases from any of those events and you are worried about a few hundred people out in the street without masks. I am afraid you are the one being unscientific. You have been told that masks save lives, but when 100,000 people fill a football stadium sitting in close proximity to each other with no masks, it should tell you a lot about what masks do. Remember that experiment has been run every weekend for the last six weeks in many places across the country. No spike in covid cases at all. But keep wearing your mask if it makes you feel better. That is your right to do what you feel is best for you.

    3. Yes. Right on. As an RN I was trained to not put my agenda and beliefs above my patients. I remember when I was a young nurse, my supervisor told me that if I can’t put the safety of my patients before myself I need to find a different job. So, this is a good thing. Weeding out the nurses who care more for their political rights than their patients at SC. BTW, I’m conservative and voted for Trump so don’t call me a Liberal. When it comes to healthcare though-and patients, I will dig my heels into the depths of the earth to make sure I don’t put anyone at risk that is in a hospital or clinic setting. That said, there is some validity to natural immunity for those who have had COVID. What is not clear is how does it compare to the vax. I’m interested in seeing some of the studies when they come out.

  16. Why has congress been given an exemption to vaccine requirements? Why have postal workers been given an exemption? I beleive Oregon’s congress and judges are exempt too? Isn’t this the classic case of do as I say, not as I do? Biden walks around without a mask and PSAKI says it’s nothing to see, but if anyone else does it, they are a racist, ant vaxxer….hmmmm

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