A rally to protest Floyd Medical Center requiring its staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 drew approximately 250 people to the levee across from the hospital by 5 p.m.
Floyd and all of its affiliated hospitals, under the leadership of Atrium Health, notified employees in July they must receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
The rally met with mixed cheers and jeers from passers by on Second Avenue. Several people attending the rally said they don’t oppose the vaccine but don’t approve of the requirement. Others stated they did oppose the vaccine altogether.
The rally was partially organized by staffers for 14th District Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene, who showed up and shook hands with supporters, published information about the rally on her social media pages and a congressional staffer was on site making signs for protesters.
Floyd Medical Center published a statement following the rally:
“We are grateful for the tireless and life-saving care our teammates have provided throughout this pandemic. Our community owes them a debt of gratitude.
Some caregivers have chosen to speak out publicly today about the vaccine mandate announced by Atrium Health in July. We want them to know we value and respect their right to share their views in a peaceful and civil manner.
With Atrium’s approval, Floyd has not yet established a timeline to implement the vaccine mandate. Our primary priority at this time is to take care of the unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 positive patients who are receiving care in our hospitals and clinics, along with those who trust us with any number of other health concerns. When the time is right, we will join many other health systems, including those in the Atrium Health network, in requiring our teammates to be vaccinated, unless they petition for and receive a medical or religious exemption. We’ll do this because we believe the vaccine offers our best protection against the ongoing global pandemic.
In the meantime, we will continue to provide our teammates in the Floyd network with an open forum to express their concerns. If someone has a question or concern that needs to be addressed, we encourage them to reach out to their department leader or one of our executive team members. We welcome a peaceful and courteous dialogue about this future initiative.”