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COVID-19: Guelph General Hospital issuing suspension notices to unvaccinated staff

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Guelph General Hospital says it will begin issuing suspension notices to employees next week who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

A spokesperson said on Friday that suspension notices will be issued on Tuesday and take effect the following day, Oct. 13.

Read more: Waterloo Region, Guelph area hospitals issue vaccine mandate for staff, volunteers

“At this time, 30 staff from across GGH (less than two per cent of our total staff) will be placed on unpaid leave of absence,” said senior communication specialist Perry Hagerman. “That number could still go down over this weekend.”

Guelph General and its regional hospital partners in Waterloo Region and Wellington County announced in September that all staff – physicians, students, volunteers and contractors working at the facilities – will be required to have at least one vaccine by Oct. 12.

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Staff have until Nov. 9 to reconsider and provide proof of vaccination or risk being fired. Physicians would lose privileges if they remain unvaccinated.

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“In the meantime, we will continue to provide education and support should they have questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

“We don’t anticipate any disruptions to our services as a result of the suspensions. In the end, this policy ensures we are taking every step possible to protect patients and our incredible staff.”

Read more: Kitchener hospital issuing suspension notices to unvaccinated staff

In Kitchener, St. Mary’s General Hospital said 98 per cent of its staff are fully vaccinated while Grand River Hospital said 93.3 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated.

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“I understand that staff are still coming forward to be vaccinated which is encouraging,” said Grand River Hospital CEO Ron Gagnon.

“We also recognize that there may be an impact on selected services and wait times and will do everything we can to ensure that we are mitigating that impact and providing our community with safe, quality care.”

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