Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) says the vast majority of its staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. The remaining 40 have been let go.
“RVH is proud to have one of the highest hospital vaccination rates in the province,” said RVH President and CEO Janice Skot in an email to Barrie 360. “In total, 39 employees, most of them working on a casual, temporary or part-time basis, as well as one credentialed staff member, chose not to become vaccinated, and they are no longer working at RVH.”
This action came in response to a policy put in place at RVH and many other medical facilities across Ontario, that required staff, volunteers, and students to disclose their vaccination status by a set deadline. For RVH staff, the deadline came and went on October 31 to provide proof of vaccination or face termination with cause. Exemptions were made for those with valid medical reasons not to get the shot.
“We value all members of our team, especially as we battle this pandemic, but we need to balance that with our commitment to safety,” concluded Skot. “RVH is the site of regional cancer, cardiac and renal programs and cares for extremely ill, vulnerable patients who are often immune-compromised. RVH must be able to say to our patients, ‘we have done everything possible to protect you against COVID-19.’”
RVH employs about 3,400 people and over 400 credentialed staffers like physicians and registered nurses.
Meanwhile, a recently-declared outbreak in the Transitional Care Unit at RVH involved ten patients as of November 2. Of those, two had passed away. One staff member also tested positive for COVID-19 in connection to this outbreak.