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URMC says vaccine mandate, end of religious exemption won’t hurt patient care

The University of Rochester Medical Center says the potential loss of a few hundred employees won’t impact patient services.

Late-Monday the deadline passed for canceling religious exemptions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.

URMC is one of the region’s largest health systems. Some were worried about their ability to continue operating clinics and hospitals after the mandate went into full-effect.

The state mandate that all healthcare workers be vaccinated went into effect on September 27. However, it was paused as advocates for a religious exemption fought to preserve that right.

Earlier this month the courts ruled that a religious exemption would not stand. The mandate went into full-effect overnight.

Here’s why 300 employees being let go as result of the mandate isn’t going to impact patient services, URMC says. As an example, URMC employs more than 15,000 people at Strong Memorial Hospital. They operate several other hospitals and clinics around the area – including F.F. Thompson in Canandaigua.

Officials told News10NBC that less than 200 of the 300 unvaccinated workers with a religious exemption were full-time employees. They say very few will qualify for a continued religious exemption after midnight.

Some employees moved into billing and record keeping parts of healthcare. However, many of those with patient-facing jobs had to be vaccinated or face voluntary resignation.