Erie St Clair hospitals to set deadline for staff vaccinations

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Erie St Clair hospitals plan to set a deadline for the vaccinations of all employees, credentialed staff, contractors, and volunteers.

Officials say the plan will ensure everyone that walks through hospital doors will be subject to policies beyond education and testing, leading to potential unpaid leave or termination for cause if not vaccinated.

Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj says this is the right decision since the local community continues to be hit hard by COVID-19.

"We can't talk the talk and not actually implement it ourselves," Musyj continued. "We can't say to the community how important it is to get vaccinated and how vaccinations will get us through this wave and then not live up to that and not say we live by the same motto."

He says they have approximately 300 staff members at Windsor Regional that still need to start the vaccine process.

"That's 6% of our workforce. So, hopefully that number goes down as a result of this announcement and also as a result of the announcement of the provincial government with respect to vaccine passports."

The timing for implementation remains to be confirmed, as Musyj says there are unique circumstances for each of the hospitals when it comes to dates.

"Some can announce them earlier than others because we started earlier with our policy. So, we plan on making those announcements in the middle of this week with respect to the dates certain. What we wanted to do now was give all the staff, volunteers, employees, knowledge of the fact that this is coming into place."

Bluewater Health, Chatham Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel Dieu Grace Healthcare and 
Windsor Regional Hospital were recently among the many hospitals that moved forward with a staff vaccination policy. 

Hospital staff say this decision was not taken lightly, but it's the right decision to protect their patients, colleagues and community.