Vaccine mandates leave dozens of Simcoe County workers out of a job
Nearly 40 Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) staff members, including 16 nurses, are out of a job for not following the Barrie hospital's mandated vaccination policy.
Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO, said the 39 staffers who were let go make up less than one per cent of hospital staff.
"We really do believe that the only way we're going to move through this pandemic and out of this pandemic is for everyone to be vaccinated," Skot said.
RVH joins other hospitals that require staff to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.
Skot said the Barrie hospital had hired 56 more nurses in the past two months.
COUNTY OF SIMCOE VACCINATION MANDATE
Meanwhile, the County of Simcoe confirmed 98 per cent of its 1,932 employees were double-dosed, leaving 38 individuals on unpaid leave.
Jane Parr, County of Simcoe director of human resources, said two staff members received medical exemptions.
The County employs roughly 1,000 long-term care workers in Beeton, Orillia, Penetanguishene and Collingwood.
Its largest COVID-19 outbreak at Simcoe Manor in Beeton claimed the lives of at least 10 residents last fall.
"It's been so important in our long-term care homes to have mass vaccination in place because it's made such a difference for the safety of our staff and the citizens that we serve," Parr said.
To date, 267 residents across Simcoe Muskoka have died after contracting COVID-19. Roughly 40 per cent of those were seniors in nursing homes.
Last month, the Ontario government issued a province-wide vaccination mandate for anyone working in long-term care to be immunized by Nov. 15 or face the threat of termination.