A Tennessee couple who have battled breakthrough COVID kicked out a home care nurse after learning she was unvaccinated, according to reports.
Patricia and Howard Winn, of Clarksville, have taken few chances when it comes to COVID by wearing masks and gloves every day, they told WTVF.
Despite being careful, the couple still suffered breakthrough COVID cases, leaving Howard bedbound and, later, needing intensive care at a nearby hospital.
Howard told WTVF: “They put me in, stuck some oxygen in my nose and I didn’t leave there for three weeks.”
The health scare shocked Patricia, who has continued to take every precaution against COVID, which included questioning home care nurses about whether they had been jabbed against the virus.
She told the network: “I said, ‘well have you had your vaccinations?’ She said, ‘no.’ And I said, ‘well why not?’ She said, ‘well I’m healthy. If you’re healthy you don’t need that vaccination.'”
Howard added: “Pat just got all over her and told her to get out of here. We don’t want anybody who hasn’t had the vaccination, especially a health care worker.”
Tennova Home Health (THH), which provides the nurses, does not require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID, according to WTVF.
A spokesman for the LHC Group, which operates THH said it would wait for more instructions from the Biden administration and continue to recommend the vaccine to its employees.
In a statement sent to WTVF, THH said: “Since the onset of the pandemic, we have implemented strict protocols for all clinicians regarding the use of personal protection equipment on patient visits – including the requirement for masks.
“In addition, we provide updated guidance on CDC protocols and best practices to ensure our teams are prepared and informed. At all times, our number one priority is the health and well-being of our patients, employees, and the communities we serve.
“We, like many other healthcare companies, are awaiting further and more specific details from the Biden administration around the previously announced mandate.”
It continued: “Until then, we continue to encourage and recommend vaccination.”
Newsweek has contacted THH for comment.
After President Joe Biden announced a vaccine mandate for nursing homes, healthcare providers said it could have “disastrous workforce challenges.”
The Georgia Health Care Association added while it believed vaccinations were important to nursing home residents, it continued to say it was “greatly concerned that this action could exacerbate the significant workforce crisis centers are already experiencing.”
Its statement, shared in August continued: “If the premise for this mandate is to protect vulnerable persons from unvaccinated staff, vaccination mandates for health care personnel should be applied to all health care settings as there are vulnerable populations being served in each.”