davin turner

Dr. Davin Turner said he expects only a small percentage of current staff will be removed after the vaccine mandate deadline.

Although a local court of appeals voted to pause the federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate, Mosaic Life Care will be moving forward with its mandate that requires employees to have one dose of the vaccine by Dec. 5.

According to Mosaic Life Care Chief Medical Officer Dr. Davin Turner, 92% of employees are vaccinated currently.

Turner said he expects the majority of the 8% left to get vaccination scheduled before the deadline or qualify for a religious exemption, as he said they have had a significant number request religious exemption.

“Eight percent of folks have not received this vaccine; that does not mean that they are not either scheduled or have been granted a waiver, we do expect to lose a small number of folks from our workforce, but we believe that number to be consistent with the national average that many other health care organizations have seen, which is around the one to 2% range,” Turner said.

Mosaic Life Care will be preventing unvaccinated staff from returning to work starting Dec. 5.

While the omicron COVID-19 variant was found in California, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services have been testing sewage and have not found the omicron variant in the state of Missouri or Buchanan County.

Hospitalizations have increased, as there are 36 people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, five of whom are in the intensive care unit. Turner said the system-wide positivity rate is just over 24%.

“We have seen a large jump and increase in people requesting testing for COVID-19 because of symptoms, and we are also seeing an increase in the number of infusions we are giving for the monoclonal antibodies,” Turner said.

The hospital has still not reached the point of stress they had when over 100 people were hospitalized, but stress has increased within the hospital, Turner said.

“It is moderately stressful, and if the numbers can continue to go up, it’s going to continue to cause increased stress,” Turner said. “We’re here for the community and to serve the community ... and we’re going to find the ways to be able to take care of them.”

Currently, there are 32 caregivers either out with COVID-19, recovering from COVID-19 or in isolation. The percentage of staff having to quarantine has been down since vaccines have increased, according to Turner.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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