Frustration grows over Centra’s policy requiring staff to get vaccinated as Carilion offers staff bonuses for vaccinations


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)– On Wednesday, Carilion Clinic announced they are handing out a bonus for vaccinated staff members and requiring weekly COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated staff members.

Carilion Clinic’s Vice President and Chief Administration Officer Jeanne Armentrout says that all employees vaccinated by Oct. 1 will receive a one-time $150 bonus in their paycheck on Oct. 15.

After Oct. 1, though, any Carilion employee who chooses not to get the vaccine will be tested for the coronavirus on a weekly basis.

Armentrout says the money is meant to celebrate Carilion’s employees.

“We do rewards and recognition for our employees, we literally budget for that. We’ve done various amounts depending on the situation,” said Armentrout.

In an interview, Armentrout wants to make clear that this is not a mandate. She says this is one of their top priorities to keep communities healthy.

“It’s really about appreciation, recognitions, and respect on our employees,” Armentrout said.

According to Armentrout, Carilion’s staff members have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for more than 18 months, and they have stayed resilient and positive along the way.

However, some Centra Health employees are sharing their frustration with their company’s new policy requiring employees to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 1 and be fully-vaccinated by Nov. 1.

Judilynn Tomlin, organizer of the online petition ‘Stop Centra Mandate,’ says people have the right to choose.

“When you have something that is associated with risk, and with adverse reactions, an employer is not the person that needs to be in a doctor’s office with you when you are making your medical decisions,” said Tomlin.

Tomlin stresses that she is not an Anti-Vaxxer, but is pro-medical freedom.

Most medical professional groups support healthcare workers being vaccinated, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association.

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