COVID-19: Peterborough-area hospitals develop mandatory staff vaccination policies

If you work at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) or Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH), you will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a valid medical exemption.

“We are incredibly proud of everyone at PRHC for continuing to provide excellent care and support for our patients through the many challenges of the last 18 months,” stated Dr. Lynn Mikula, executive vice-president, chief of staff and chief medical executive at PRHC.

“To ensure that we are offering the safest possible environment for our patients, families and healthcare workers, PRHC has implemented a policy making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all PRHC employees, professional staff, contractors, volunteers and students.”

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Mikula notes that prior to the hospital announcing this policy, more than 85 per cent of health-care workers at PRHC were already fully vaccinated.

“As an acute care facility and referral centre serving patients across the region, it is vital that our healthcare workers at PRHC are protected by being fully vaccinated, and that our patients are cared for and supported by a fully-vaccinated team,” Mikula added.

“The implementation period for the hospital’s policy allows time for individuals who have not been fully vaccinated to do so, and we will continue to provide education and supports as well as on-site vaccination opportunities for our healthcare workers at PRHC.”

A similar policy went into effect at RMH on Sept. 7.

“RMH’s vaccine policy states that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory unless medically contraindicated, for all employees, medical staff, volunteers, students/learners, contractors and on-site vendors,” stated hospital president and chief executive officer Kelly Isfan.

“The policy allows a period of time for the unvaccinated to get fully vaccinated, during which time they must complete regular COVID-19 testing. ”

The deadline for submitting proof of at least one dose of vaccine or acceptable medical exemption is Nov. 1.

If that proof is not received by then, the employee will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence.

“The evidence is clear — being vaccinated is the best defense against COVID-19. Ross Memorial is confident our vaccination policy meets the values we strive to achieve every single day, and that it will help foster and maintain a safe environment for all,” Isfan added.

The vaccination policies at both hospitals are consistent with the direction taken by many hospitals and organizations in the Greater Toronto Area and across the province.

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The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) is working on its staff vaccination policy.

Medical officer of health Dr. Natalie Bocking told reporters on her weekly media conference that the health unit would be bringing the policy to its board meeting on Thursday.

“That will be discussed by our board tomorrow and then looking at rolling out a vaccine policy for all of our staff that is in-line with other healthcare sector partners and other health units.”


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