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List of unvaccinated and undeclared UHN employees emailed out in 'breach of privacy': UHN

Exterior view of Toronto General Hospital which is part of the University Health Network. TWITTER/UHN
Summary

The email was sent by the Health Services department on behalf of UHN president and CEO, Kevin Smith


A UHN spokesperson said the list of around 300 employees was sent in error to around 70 people on a distribution list


Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) says a list of staff who are unvaccinated for COVID-19, have a medical reason for not being vaccinated, or haven’t declared their vaccination status, was accidentally emailed out to dozens of people in what a UHN spokesperson called a “breach of privacy.”

UHN spokesperson, Gillian Howard, confirmed to CityNews in an email that the list of around 300 employees was sent in error to around 70 people on a distribution list.

The email was sent by the Health Services department on behalf of UHN president and CEO, Kevin Smith.

“There was a breach of privacy and it was reported immediately and reported by our Privacy group to the Commissioner,” Howard explained.

“We also contacted the 300 people (from the 900 plus on the list) as their names were on a distribution list sent to approximately 70 people. It was an error as the list of names should have been in the BCC portion of the email.”

A viewer tip first alerted CityNews to the breach, which was later confirmed by UHN.

The viewer, who requested anonymity, called the privacy breach “a blatant lack of respect” for unvaccinated staff.

Last Friday, UHN announced that unvaccinated staff will be terminated after two weeks of being placed on unpaid leave if they refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“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 on Friday.

“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.”