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Colorado health care system fires 119 unvaccinated workers

October 6, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado health system fired 119 employees for not adhering to its vaccine requirement without a religious or medical exemption.

That accounts for less than 0.5% of the company’s of their 26,500 employees around the state, said UCHealth spokesperson Dan Weaver.

UCHealth employees had until Oct. 1 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply and receive an exemption. Among those fired, 54 employees were from the Denver region, 33 from northern Colorado and 32 from the southern part of the state.

Nearly 1,170 medical and religious exemptions were approved which makes up about 4% of their workforce, Weaver said.

“Despite the loss of these employees, UCHealth’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement has helped to improve staffing. With broad vaccination rates, fewer employees are testing positive for COVID-19 and needing to be out of work while they recover,” Weaver said in an email.

The employees who were terminated are welcome and encouraged to re-apply if they receive one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccinations, Weaver said.

UCHealth is a nonprofit health care system with 12 hospitals and hundreds of medical clinics in the Rocky Mountain region.

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This story has been updated to correct that UCHealth is an independent organization and is not owned or part of the University of Colorado.