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Most hospital staff and all volunteers vaccinated: SAH

Fewer than five employees are currently on unpaid leave for refusing to comply with Sault Area Hospital's vaccination policy
Sault Area Hospital stock-2
Sault Area Hospital file photo. Donna Hopper/SooToday

Sault Area Hospital has fewer than five employees on unpaid leave for refusing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccination policy.

That number represents 0.01 per cent of the hospital’s active employees, said Rose Calibani, spokesperson for SAH.

The non-compliance could mean an employee will not provide documentation, will not be vaccinated and/or will not be tested, said Calibani.

So far, no grievances have been made specific to the SAH vaccine policy, she added.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association spokesperson Katherine Russo confirmed by email that it has not filed any grievances against the hospital because it is offering the option of testing and education.

Staff at SAH were given a deadline of Sept. 7 to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a medical exemption, said Calibani. In addition, all newly-hired staff must show proof of being fully vaccinated at the start of their employment.

To date, 95.3 per cent of the 1,789 active employees and 98 per cent of 160 active professional staff have been fully vaccinated. Calibani said 100 per cent of the hospital’s volunteers have also been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“SAH has an excellent vaccination rate,” said Calibani. “ SAH is working with our not yet fully vaccinated employees to understand their concerns and provide education on the importance of being vaccinated in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

Any SAH staff member who is not vaccinated must submit to regular rapid antigen POC testing at least twice per week and provide proof of completion of an education session approved by SAH and must also complete a consultation session with the hospital’s Occupational Health Team.