Dozens of unvaccinated Windsor, Ont. hospital staff suspended without pay

Windsor, Ont., hospitals have suspended dozens of employees without pay for not getting their COVID-19 vaccines, per employee policy.

Windsor Regional Hospital reports that 3,398 or 96 per cent of its employees are fully vaccinated or have complied with the policy of getting at least one dose by Wednesday, Sept. 22.

As of Wednesday, 140 of the employees have not complied with the policy. Of these employees 84 are considered clinical staff and 56 are considered non-clinical staff.

Also, 534 or 99 per cent of WRH professional staff are fully vaccinated or have complied with the policy, while seven have not. However, only two of the seven are full-time employees.

The policy was unanimously passed by WRH’s Medical Advisory Committee on Sept. 2 and was approved by WRH’s Board of Directors on Sept. 3.

“The policy is part of a progressive plan to ensure that all employees, Professional Staff, Affiliates, volunteers, and students (“Staff”) are vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have a valid exemption,” said the hospital in a memo to staff on Wednesday.

WRH says staff who did not receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 22, 2021, will be placed on a two-week unpaid leave.

If those staff members have not received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 7, 2021, their employment will be terminated; or their privileges will be suspended on an immediate mid-term basis (with a recommendation going forward that their privileges be revoked/terminated) and the related by-law process will be followed.

As a result, hospital officials say the final number of staff still unvaccinated will not be known until after Oct. 7.

“I am very proud of our Windsor Regional Hospital team leading by example for our community. All our WRH Board members unanimously supported the implementation of the WRH Vaccine Policy and also lead by example themselves on the importance of getting vaccinated,” stated Anthony Paniccia, WRH Board Chair.

WRH CEO David Musyj says the hospital has put the safety and well-being of patients, our community and team members first by requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The individuals who have not complied with the policy and decided not to be vaccinated will not impact the provision of clinical or non-clinical care to our community,” said Musyj.

Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare

Effective Sept. 22 at 12:01 a.m. all staff and physicians at HDGH in Windsor must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend the Hospital pursuant to our policy unless provided an approved exemption.

HDGH has a 96 per cent vaccination rate. As of Wednesday morning, this will affect 32 employees who are now suspended without pay.

HDGH officials say if these employees do not have the first vaccination on or before Oct. 6, they will face termination with cause.

Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington

ESHC is in Phase 1 of their staff vaccination policy, which includes twice-weekly testing by staff and physicians who aren’t fully vaccinated. Phase 2 of their policy, which requires all staff and physicians to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to attend the hospital, goes into effect on Oct. 4.

At this time, ESHC says 95 per cent of staff have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and they are hopeful more will receive their first shot prior to the deadline.