Hundreds of Ontario workers in hospitals and long-term care could soon be out of work because they were not vaccinated against COVID-19.
And there are fears it will further compound what advocates call the “perfect storm” of staff shortages.
A November 15 deadline has been set for Ontario’s long-term care workers to receive vaccinations, or lose access to their workplaces.
Several operators have already set dates for unvaccinated people on leave, citing the devastating impact of COVID-19 and the risk of the highly permeable delta variant.
Sherlyn Stewart, president of the SEIU healthcare union, which represents workers in long-term care, hospitals and retirement homes, says the vaccine mandate is likely to worsen staffing levels that are “already at a critical point”. , which are driven by low wages, shortages. Full-time jobs and the poor working conditions that preceded the pandemic.
This policy does not apply to hospitals, but many have offered theirs.
A hospital in Windsor did not vaccinate 57 people last week and is preparing to put others on leave in the Waterloo area.
Grand River Hospital in Kitchener says it will work to reduce disruptions that could result from vacant positions next week when unvaccinated people are off work.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the minister for long-term care says the ministry will work with households to provide assistance if needed.