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Ontario government requiring all long-term care homes to have COVID-19 staff vaccine policies

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The Ontario government has announced all long-term care homes in the province will be mandated to put into place COVID-19 vaccine policies for staff.

According to a statement issued Monday afternoon, every staff member under each facility’s policy will be required to show proof of vaccination for each dose, show medical documentation outlining why they aren’t vaccinated, or they will be required to go to an educational seminar that goes over the benefits of being inoculated and the risks of not receiving the vaccine.

“By encouraging more workers to get vaccinated, the likelihood of infections and outbreaks is reduced, which allows for additional easing of restrictions in homes and more opportunities for residents to enjoy activities that support their well-being and quality of life,” the statement said.

READ MORE: Ontario government to allow for outdoor visits at long-term care homes

The directive said all 626 long-term care homes will need to have policies in place by July 1.

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The facilities were ordered to track and report how the policies have been implemented and advise on the overall immunization rate of staff members. The status of each particular worker would not be shared with the government, according to the statement.

The announcement came after the Ontario government announced earlier in May the resumption of indoor events, communal dining, and outdoor visits with family — all with certain precautions.

Read more: Indoor events, communal dining with precautions now allowed under new Ontario COVID-19 LTC directive

As of Sunday, it was reported more than 89 per cent of staff at Ontario’s long-term care homes received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose while 66 per cent of those staff members received the required two doses.

It was also reported that 97 per cent of long-term care residents have been fully immunized.

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