Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees and anyone who does business at the Barrie hospital.
The vaccination policy means all RVH employees — including those who’ve been working remotely during the pandemic, credentialed staff, students and contractors — must be double-vaccinated by Oct. 31, 2021, unless they have been granted a medical exemption or accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
RVH is one of the city’s largest employers. Its employers were notified of the vaccination policy by e-mail Tuesday.
"With COVID-19 cases on the rise, fuelled by the highly transmissible delta variant, along with clear evidence the vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated people, health-care workers have a responsibility to do everything possible to ensure a safe environment," says the letter, which was obtained by BarrieToday.
In the letter, RVH also thanked the 80 per cent of staff and physicians who have declared they have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, the letter says, most are fully vaccinated. But RVH says it wants to ensure it can achieve 100 per cent vaccination status across the hospital.
"We will work closely with everyone to achieve 100 per cent vaccination, however, anyone who chooses to remain unvaccinated after Oct. 31 will be subject to progressive policies, including unpaid leave and termination for cause, ending of learner placement, and restriction, suspension or termination of privileges for credentialed staff. Volunteers must be fully vaccinated before returning to their roles," the letter says.
RVH also says it will join the vast majority of hospitals throughout Ontario Health’s central region by implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for those employed by the hospital.
The other hospitals taking part in the joint COVID-19 vaccination policy include Georgian Bay General Hospital, Halton Healthcare Services Corporation, Headwaters Health Care Centre, Oak Valley Health, North York General Hospital, Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, and William Osler Health System.