Staff losses linked to health system vaccination mandates have closed some medical labs and patients are scrambling – CBS Chicago

GLENVIEW, Illinois (CBS) – Chicago doctors say there’s no getting around this – a COVID-19 outbreak is on its way, and we’re already seeing signs of it now.

The seven-day average of new cases per day in Illinois is 3,452.

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There are vaccination mandates for the health systems in the region, but for a Palatine the rules work against him. As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported on Monday night, the tenure makes it harder for Doug Stevenson to do simple lab work.

Stevenson visited three different labs in a week – only to find them closed, and we’ve learned this may become even more common in the future. Sometimes lab closures are reported online, but not always.

Sitting outside his Palatine house, Stevenson said it wasn’t so easy to get around anymore.

“I have a problem with my leg,” he says. “I’m a bit hampered these days. I have to Uber everywhere.

This makes the NorthShore University HealthSystem’s lab work that it has been through this month all the more difficult.

“It’s getting expensive too,” Stevenson said. “So it kind of shut me down. “

Three carpools, three lab locations – and Stevenson still doesn’t have a blood test.

Why? He was told, “As of October 30, all staff have to be vaccinated, and not everyone wanted to go down this route. “

We reached out to NorthShore about this and how they communicate closures to patients like Stevenson – because in some cases what is marked online is not always accurate.

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A spokesperson responded with a statement that did not answer most of our questions:

“Like many industries nationwide, healthcare is experiencing staff shortages. However, we remain focused on what matters most: providing our patients with safe, exceptional and quality care, which is the guiding principle of our employee vaccination policy. We are committed to effectively managing current challenges; and encourage our patients to receive lab work at one of our six hospitals and many of our other medical offices. “

NorthShore continued in an additional statement:

“We continue to prioritize safety in all of our patient care settings. All closures resulting from temporary staffing issues are regularly assessed and not long-term planned closures. We will continue to adjust as needed. Patients can access specific information about our lab locations, updated daily, by visiting

The health system said it had no additional information to provide beyond these statements.

When it comes to the issue with staffing and the vaccine mandate, we know NorthShore is not alone.

Attorney Aurora Health lost around 440 members of his team to the tenure last month:

“With approximately 99% of our team members compliant or on track to comply with our immunization policy, we protect the health and safety of our patients, communities and each other. About 440 team members – 0.6% of our workforce, almost half of which were per diems – were not in compliance and withdrew from the organization. ”

Lurie Children’s Hospital has lost a fraction of one percent of its staff, according to a spokesperson. :

“We are proud that the community of Lurie Children has overwhelmingly supported the vaccination efforts. In fact, only a small fraction of one percent of our workforce has chosen to leave their jobs because of vaccine needs. Lurie Children’s continues its unwavering commitment to ensuring the safest possible environment for our patients, their families and our staff.

Others still haven’t seen an impact. A spokesperson for Northwestern Medicine told me that employees have until the first of the New Year to be fully immunized, by then anyone without documentation is testing weekly:

“Employees without vaccination documents must undergo a weekly COVID-19 test. As of January 1, 2022, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be an employment requirement, except for those who receive an approved medical or religious exemption, ”Northwestern Medicine spokesperson Christopher N. King said. , in the press release.

Stevenson said the next ride he pays will be to a lab he’s sure is open.

“The dominoes are starting to fall,” he said.

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The NorthShore University Health System did not address the impact of the closures on wait times at the six hospitals they advised to visit, or when we might see all of the labs reopen.

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