St. Luke's, Saint Alphonsus pausing employee vaccine requirement while Crisis Standards of Care is activated

Posted at 5:33 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 19:33:17-04

St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus have temporarily paused COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees following Thursday’s announcement that Crisis Standards of Care was activated statewide by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

A spokesperson for Saint Alphonsus confirmed to Idaho News 6 Friday the health system is pausing the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for Idaho employees while under Crisis Standards of Care.

“While we remain committed to our vaccine requirement policy, we are pausing the requirement for our Idaho colleagues only while Crisis Standards of Care are activated,” said Saint Alphonsus Communications Director Mark Snider said over the phone.

A new timeline for Saint Alphonsus employees will be announced at a later date.

St. Luke’s also has temporarily extended the compliance deadline for COVID-19 vaccination.

“The compliance deadline extension will be in place only until Crisis Standards of Care are no longer activated and/or our internal HICS activation level is reduced,” Public Relations Coordinator Taylor Reeves said. “At that time, we will resume the corrective action process for team members who remain non-compliant. As an additional safety measure, any team member who has not received the COVID-19 vaccination will be required to complete COVID testing twice per week.”

Around 98% of St. Luke’s team members have been compliant with the vaccination requirement, according to Reeves.

Crisis Standards of Care was activated across the state Thursday after a request from the St. Lukes Health System, which has become overwhelmed by patients fighting COVID-19 and other illnesses.

“To hear our team talking about the stress that they see an experience when they are working 10 shifts in a row and they don’t get to see their family and they are seeing the death and the despair that COVID is bringing to us, it's really taking a toll across the board,” St. Luke’s Chief Operations Officer Sandee Gehrke said.

To read more about Crisis Standards of Care, click here.