98% of Henry Ford Health System employees compliant with vaccine mandate

HFHS temporarily closes 120 inpatient beds because of staffing challenges

Businesses in Metro Detroit working to follow federal vaccine mandate

DETROIT – On Monday, Henry Ford Hospital released details about the sheer impact that those unvaccinated for COVID are having on the healthcare system that spans five different hospitals and numerous medical facilities.

According to officials, 95% of all beds are being utilized. One hundred and twenty in-patient beds have had to be closed down due to staffing challenges amid the pandemic.

And while Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) COO Bob Riney says no employees will be fired for failing to meet the health system’s COVID vaccine mandate, if any of the remaining unvaccinated 33,000 employees have still chosen not to get vaccinated or obtain a verified request for exemption by Oct. 1, they can resign or be fired.

As of Monday, 98% of all HFHS employees were compliant with the mandate and were either fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and scheduled for their second shot dose, verifiably in the process of getting vaccinated or have gotten an exemption.

The 98% figure given Monday includes employees who have obtained approved exemptions. The hospital system says it is currently unable to share the percentage of all approved vaccine mandate exemptions.

Related: Most Henry Ford Health employees got COVID-19 vaccine; lawsuit withdrawn

“There are almost no institutional churches that make it a requirement to refuse vaccines -- so not Jehovah’s Witnesses, not Catholics, not Muslims,” said Dr. Mark Navin, medical ethicist with Oakland University and Beaumont Health. “The Supreme Court right has quite clearly said that religious liberty matters, but people aren’t entitled as a constitutional right to exemptions.”

COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationwide. New data on COVID-19 cases in Michigan was released Monday, showing an increase in daily new cases over the past several days.

Michigan reported 6,093 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 2,031 cases over the past three days. Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 976,505, including 20,535 deaths.

Read more: Michigan reports 6,093 new COVID cases, 29 deaths -- average of 2,031 cases per day

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.