BURRILLVILLE – Eleanor Slater Hospital, which includes the Burrillville-based Zambarano unit, is one of two healthcare facilities to receive violation notices this week from the Rhode Island Department of Health for failure to comply with the state’s vaccination mandate for COVID-19.
Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket was also notified of a violation, and both hospitals now have ten days to bar unvaccinated staff from entry, or face fines. The facilities will also be prohibited from admitting new patients if the deadline is not met.
Ten staff members at Eleanor Slater who remain unvaccinated have been allowed to continue working, according to reports. The hospital system, which also includes units in Cranston, is operated by the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, and administrators have said the employees will continue to work until replacements can be found.
Staffing company Knowledge Services was hired to replace unvaccinated staff, and a representative told The Providence Journal this week that around a dozen nurses and CNAs are scheduled to start the week of November 8.
In a statement last week, Cynthia Lussier, president of the union for Zambarano, called the hiring of staffing firms a, “slap in the face,” to the hospital’s regular nurses.
According to recent reports, 91 percent of the 405 licensed facilities in Rhode Island are in full compliance with the vaccine mandate, which went into effect on Sunday, Oct. 31.