A Toronto long-term care home has placed 79 staff members on unpaid, indefinite leave as part of their essential COVID-19 vaccination policy.
The Copernicus Lodge on Roncesvalles Avenue says that when the policy was announced on September 10, there were 111 non-vaccinated employees. Since then 32 have received their first dose and the rest have been put on leave.
A statement from the long-term care home said they are planning from the beginning of the summer for the possibility of storing employees because of the small number of vaccinated workers before the vaccination policy goes into effect.
They have already returned the positions of the employees who have gone on leave and are currently fully staffed. Everyone working from home has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We hope that our employees will choose to be vaccinated and return to work,” the statement said.
Ontario announced a mandate that would require all long-term care workers to be vaccinated by November 15 or not be able to enter the home.
Previously, workers were required to disclose their vaccination status and those who were not vaccinated for non-medical reasons were required to undergo education about the importance of vaccination.
Phillips said that while overall 90 percent of employees have received at least one dose, dozens of homes have vaccination rates below 80 percent.