14 unvaccinated RVH staffers fired over testing refusal

Another 45 workers are on unpaid leave for failing to provide vaccination proof

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) confirms it has let 14 unvaccinated staff members go after they refused to undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

“I can share that 14 unvaccinated employees were terminated last week because they did not comply with our policy to be tested twice a week,” said hospital President and CEO Janice Skot in an email to Barrie 360. “Another 45 employees and have been placed on an unpaid leave of absence for not complying with our policy, which required them to be double dosed by October 8.

“They will have until October 31 to become fully vaccinated, or they face termination with cause unless they have a medical or human rights exemption,” she added.

“Hospitals must lead by example and be able to say to our patients, “you can be confident that RVH has done everything possible to protect you from COVID-19”.  We believe our patients and their families expect nothing less,” continued Skot. “We don’t want to lose any of our valued employees or physicians as we battle this pandemic amid a health human resources shortage. But we need to balance that with our commitment to safety.”

Skot says RVH does not anticipate any change in services or any impact to patient care as a result of these staffing losses. She points out that some of the employees on leave are casual and part-time, that their shifts will be picked up by other staff members. “We have been hiring throughout the pandemic and continue to do so to ensure safe patient ratios. In fact, last week we welcomed more than 80 new employees to RVH and all of them were double-dosed,” she commented.

“Vaccination, along with public health safety measures, is the most important way to protect our patients and the people who care for them. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the right thing to do,” concluded Skot.