Ontario hospital places 140 unvaccinated staff members on unpaid leave

Sep 23 2021, 6:45 pm

A hospital in southwestern Ontario has placed more than 100 staff members on leave for not getting their COVID-19 vaccines.

Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) announced on Wednesday that 140 workers, 84 of whom are clinical staff, have been placed on unpaid leave for the next two weeks.

The workers will have until October 7 to get their first dose. If they fail to do so, their employment will be terminated or their privileges suspended, the hospital said.

“Windsor Regional Hospital has put the safety and well-being of patients, our community, and team members first by requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” said David Musyj, the hospital’s president and CEO.

“Our WRH team members responded by showing the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The individuals who have not complied with the policy and decided not to be vaccinated will not impact the provision of clinical or non-clinical care to our community.”

The hospital’s vaccination policy was announced earlier this month. It requires all staff to have had their first dose by September 22, unless they are medically exempt.

As of September 22, 3,398 of WRH’s employees were fully or partially vaccinated. The hospital said it was aware of several unvaccinated workers planning to get their shot.

Jordana Goldman, public affairs associate for University Health Network (UHN), told Daily Hive that all employees are expected to be fully vaccinated within the next month.

“Everyone must be double vaccinated by October 22,” Goldman said. “If someone is not, they will no longer be employed by UHN.”

UHN includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

Per Unity Health’s vaccination policy, staff at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, and Providence Healthcare have until October 4 to get their first shot.

They must be fully immunized by November 4. Workers who fail to meet either deadline will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence or will have their privileges suspended.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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