Toronto’s University Health Network says unvaccinated staff will be terminated after two weeks of being placed on unpaid leave if they refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
UHN – which includes Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret hospitals – says 900-plus staff have either not given their vaccination status or indicated that they are not vaccinated. They have been told they should have their first shot by Sept. 8, which allows for a second shot by Oct. 8.
“After October 8, if they are not vaccinated, they will be placed on unpaid leave for two weeks. If it is still their decision at the end of two weeks is that they will not be vaccinated after that date, their employment at UHN will end,” UHN said in a statement to 680 NEWS.
“UHN cares for people who are extremely ill and often immune compromised. We are doing everything possible to protect our patients and the people who care for them.”
The University Health Network had already begin requiring rapid tests from unvaccinated workers this summer.
Also on Friday, Toronto’s medical officer of health issued a statement “strongly recommending” the local employers implement COVID-19 vaccination policies.
“Supporting your employees to get vaccinated is the best way to help protect them from the risks of COVID-19, prevent outbreaks in workplace settings and build confidence for a safer return to work as we continue living with this virus in our community,” Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a statement.
The public health unit also published a resource guide for workplaces drafting their own policies and outlined minimum recommended standards.
De Villa also advised organizations come up with a proof-of-vaccination system for gatherings of 1,000 people or more.