While people are more likely to encounter a vaccinated individual at Cody Regional Health than just about anywhere else in the county, the hospital is one of a number of local employers still working to raise its COVID vaccination rate.
The staff vaccination rate is hovering around 50%, reported RN Laura Farnworth, Employee Health Coordinator. That is in line with health care workers nationally and far above the 36.7% rate of people who are fully vaccinated in Park County.
“We are holding weekly immunization clinics to encourage our staff to get immunized,” she said.
This comes as the active COVID rate in Park County has plateaued around 150. On Monday 13 county residents were hospitalized and 91 of the 156 active cases were in Cody residents.
After weeks of rising numbers, some of the metrics, such as the rate of spread and wastewater testing has begun to stabilize or improve in Park County. Numbers, however, remain well above where they were for months. The amount of people in quarantine has stressed many City of Cody departments, manager Barry Cook told council members Tuesday night.
He had suggested providing vaccinated employees with three extra personal days to use as an incentive for more to get vaccinated than the roughly 30% estimated, but council members asked for an internal survey first to see if the offer of personal days would entice any employees to get vaccinated.
Council member Heidi Rasmussen said, while she was in favor of the vaccine, she was doubtful the proposed incentive would convince anybody to move from their “trench” and said there are valid reasons for certain people to resist getting the vaccine. She also noted that current CDC regulations provide an incentive for those who don’t want to miss a bunch of work.
“They’ve set up quarantine rules where being vaccinated is a benefit,” she said. “There are some reverse incentives the federal government is doing for us that maybe we don’t need to get in that trench.”
A number of health care facilities and larger private employers are also waiting to see the affect the Biden administration’s recently announced executive order will have on vaccinations.
“We will follow the federal mandate for COVID-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers once the details of the mandate are provided to health care facilities,” she said.
Staff members are already encouraged to get a wide range of immunizations recommended nationwide, from hepatitis to MMR, and staff are required to be tested for Tuberculosis prior to having any patient contact.