Some WRH staff back at work after missing Wednesday's vaccination deadline

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It appears Windsor Regional Hospital staff are listening when it comes to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

As heard on AM800, 140 employees did not meet Wednesday's vaccination deadline and were sent home on a two-week unpaid leave.

Chief Nursing Executive Karen Riddell says 21 staff members are already back to work having got their shots and many others have indicated they're in the process of getting vaccinated.

Riddell says many see the strict policy as a good thing.

"We've actually gotten a lot of positive feedback from staff as well as the community really thanking us for doing this. When we're doing it we're obviously not doing it to put people's employment at risk, we're really looking at improving the safety in the hospital."

She says it's all about patient and staff safety.

"We're doing everything that we possibly can do to prevent transmission of infectious disease while you're here. We've always tried to provide the safest environment for our patients and our staff and this is just one of those things that we've done for that."

Riddell says the hospital is doing it's best to address any concerns from staff.

"We have the same concerns and questions that you hear from the general public. So where we've focused our communication as much as possible and our support for our staff is really helping to fill those gaps providing them with the evidence based information that is available to us."

Riddell adds about 97% of the hospital's roughly 4,000 employees are partially or fully vaccinated.  

Earlier this month, the hospital announced all staff must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 22.

Those who have been placed on leave have until October 7 to receive their first dose.