Ottawa hospitals establish strict COVID-19 vaccination mandates for staff – Ottawa



A number of Ottawa hospitals have decided to tighten their COVID-19 vaccination policies this week, removing workarounds that allow regular testing and setting a strict deadline of October 15 for staff to be fully vaccinated. .

The Ottawa Hospital (TOH), Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH), Montfort and Bruyère Hospital all said Monday evening that they would make vaccinations mandatory for doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital. ‘fall.

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) did the same last week, along with other children’s hospitals in the province.

Guidelines released last week by the Ontario government for healthcare facilities make vaccinations mandatory for staff, but included regular testing as an alternative to vaccines. The latest policies abandon this option.

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“Patients and caregivers shouldn’t have to worry about the immunization status of those around them when they come to QCH for care,” said Queensway Carleton President and CEO Dr Andrew Falconer , in a press release.

“There are people in our community who cannot get vaccinated because of their age or health issues. We are providing care to some of the most vulnerable people in the region – it is the right thing to do. “

Most Ottawa area hospitals are reporting staff vaccination rates of around 90 percent so far.

Unvaccinated people working in each of the hospitals will have until September 7 to receive their first dose and until mid-October to receive their second dose.

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What comes next is not strictly defined in policies.

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Most hospitals have said in their statements that they will provide educational resources for those hesitant about vaccination.

“For those who do not comply with the requirements after completing the vaccination training, all options will be considered to effectively apply our policy,” said the statement from Montfort.

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“After October 15, TOH will review the immunization rate of its staff and determine if further action is needed to keep our healthcare environment safe,” the statement from The Hospital reads. of Ottawa.

CHEO boss Alex Munter told Global News last week that if staff refuse vaccinations after the hospital’s Oct. 15 deadline, those employees could be put on unpaid leave.

Medical and human rights-based exemptions will still be allowed under each of the hospital’s strengthened policies.

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