ONA: Legacy staffing issues connected to vaccine exemptions

Coronavirus

4 Legacy-Go Health Urgent Care clinics closing Thursday

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care will close on Thursday due to “temporary staffing constraints.”

The locations in West Linn, Pearl District, Lake Oswego and Camas will close until further notice. However, a spokesperson told KOIN 6 News they are consolidating services and expanding capacity at the locations in Oregon City, Raleigh Hills, N. Williams and Cascade Park.

The reasons why there are staffing issues is a bit unclear.

A statement from the Oregon Nurses Association makes it clear vaccine exemptions are definitely a reason.

“Nurses in the labor and delivery department at Legacy Silverton Hospital report that every religious exemption request, and a number of medical exemption requests, have been denied. We are told that 18 nurses, nearly half of the nursing staff in that department, are facing termination. ONA is seeing similar reports from other Legacy Silverton Hospital units, and we are hearing deep concern from nurses at Legacy facilities (not represented by ONA) in the Portland area,” the statement said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, KOIN 6 News received this statement from Legacy Health officials:

“Our focus this week is to support employees who choose to get a COVID-19 vaccination to comply with the state requirements in Oregon and Washington and to protect the safety of our people, our patients, and our communities.

“Legacy has completed a thorough review of all employee requests for medical or religious exceptions and has shared decisions with nearly all employees who requested an exception.

“Legacy’s number one priority is patient and employee safety. In anticipation of the potential impact to our staffing, Legacy has developed a series of contingency plans across all of our facilities to minimize the effect on patient care.

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