FRIDAY UPDATES: MU Health Care says nearly all employees will be vaccinated or exempt when the deadline hits
MU Health Care announced on Friday that around 95% of its workforce have either been vaccinated against the coronavirus or have received a waiver.
The organization said that equates to about 9,000 employees who have been confirmed to have their vaccinations or have a medical or religious exception. The deadline for vaccination or for a waiver was Friday.
MU Health spokesman Eric Maze said the organization is still processing employee paperwork and expects the number to increase.
Most of the 40,000 employees at SSM Health, which operates St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City, have been vaccinated or have received a waiver, said spokeswoman Jessica Royston. She did not give a specific number.
Maze and Royston declined to share how many employees received an exception.
“Every exception request is carefully considered to ensure that we provide the safest environment while respecting people’s individual situations,” said Royston in an email response to questions. “Employees who have received a medical or religious exception will be tested for COVID-19 weekly and screened for symptoms daily.”
The State Health Office reports 51% of the residents of Boone County, where MU Health Care is located, have been fully vaccinated. In Cole County, home of St. Mary’s, 45.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Missouri Adds 1,800 New COVID-19 Cases
The state health department reported more than 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 in Missouri on Friday.
According to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 1,378 of the patients tested positive by the PCR exam.
That’s above the daily average of 1,106 Missouri cases for the testing method. PCR testing has shown at least 678,112 cases of COVID-19.
Another 511 patients tested positive for COVID-19 through antigen testing. The additional antigen test cases brought the state’s total to 143,510.
The nationwide 7-day positivity rate remained unchanged at 8.8%.
According to the state health office, 22 other patients died as a result of the coronavirus. As a result, the death toll in Missouri has risen to 11,515 since the pandemic began.
Hospitals in Missouri reported 1,590 patients with COVID-19 will be hospitalized. Of these patients, 291 are on ventilators.
More than 2.9 million Missourians have completed the coronavirus vaccination process.
That’s 47.6% of the state’s population.