Health system terminates 100 unvaccinated employees who had been granted religious exemption

Kaleida Health
Oishei Children's Hospital and Buffalo general Hospital, part of the Kaleida Health hospital group Photo credit WBEN Photo

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Kaleida Health revealed late Monday they terminated 100 employees who had previously been granted a religious exemption and chose not to receive their initial vaccination dose by the State’s deadline of December 5.

Combined with the previous vaccine mandate deadline in November, approximately 200 personnel have now been separated from Kaleida.

In a statement released, Kaleida acknowledges the staffing shortage and is taking action by postponing certain services.

"Given the reduction in workforce, the subsequent reduction in staffed beds, the significant rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations across our facilities, and the spike in COVID-19 cases in our region, Kaleida Health is proactively postponing non-essential elective inpatient surgeries at Buffalo General Medical Center and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital," the statement reads.

Dr. Michael Mineo, chief medical officer for Buffalo General Medical Center and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital said, “We continue to consult with our physician leadership as well as surgical leadership teams to manage the number of elective inpatient surgeries on a daily basis that require an overnight stay. This will ensure that, as a health system, we are appropriately managing patient care and community need amid this current surge in COVID-19 cases.”

As mask demonstrations are planned in Erie County this week, Mineo is emphatically urging the community to wear masks and get vaccinated if they have not already done so.

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