Dozens of health care workers protested Novant Health's vaccine mandate for employees outside of Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on August 9.
CNN  — 

A North Carolina-based health care provider announced Tuesday it has suspended hundreds of employees for not meeting the company’s Covid-19 vaccine requirements.

Novant Health says employees, by now, must have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine or applied for – and received – a medical or religious exemption.

Those that hadn’t – about 375 workers across 15 hospitals and hundreds of clinics and outpatient facilities – are now suspended.

Anyone who doesn’t comply with the vaccine policy within the five-day, unpaid suspension period will lose their job, the Winston Salem-based company said.

About 98.6% of the company’s more than 35,000 workers are complaint with the policy, it said.

Workers who started a two-dose vaccine series will now have until October 15 to get their second dose and remain in compliance, the company said.

Employees that receive exemptions are required to undergo weekly Covid-19 testing, and wear N95 respirators, masks or other appropriate protective equipment and eye protection while working on Novant Health premises, the company said.

President Joe Biden, while announcing sweeping vaccine rules for federal workers and large employers earlier this month, also said he would require the 17 million health care workers at facilities receiving funds from Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated, including at hospitals, home care facilities and dialysis centers.

Besides Novant Health, other health care systems and hospitals have similarly suspended or terminated the jobs of people who did not comply with vaccine policies.