Health department looks into vaccine mandate compliance

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Two dozen home care agencies, walk-in clinics, treatment and urgent care centers in Rhode Island are under investigation for potential violations of the state’s health care worker COVID-19 vaccination mandate, state public health officials said Tuesday.

Also, two facilities are considered noncompliant and facing fines and restrictions on the admission of new patients because they still had unvaccinated employees on the job on Oct. 31, The Providence Journal reported.

Of 405 health care facilities in the state, 379 are compliant with the vaccination mandate, according to the state Department of Health.

Garrett Sullivan, director of the St. Antoine Residence nursing home in North Smithfield, said he cannot explain why the facility is on the “compliance under investigation” list because all of the facility’s 215 employees are now vaccinated.

Health department spokesperson Joseph Wendelken said the agency does not have data that indicates they are in compliance, so has requested it.

Marie Ghazal, CEO of the Rhode Island Free Clinic, said her organization is also compliant and sent the health department their vaccination records. Those records are under review, Wendelken said.

Patients concerned about the vaccination status of those treating them should check the health department’s website and ask facility administrators about the vaccination status of their employees, he said.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Regional News, Rhode Island