SAH Extends Mandatory Vaccine Policy to all Employees
Sault Area Hospital (SAH) is committed to ensuring a safe environment for our patients, visitors and health care workers. To that end, SAH has revised its COVID-19 Health Care Worker Management Policy. Effective November 8, 2021, SAH’s policy extends mandatory vaccination to all workers, including existing employees.
Since August, we have been working with our not yet fully vaccinated employees to understand their concerns and provide education on the importance of being vaccinated in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, twice-weekly point of care rapid antigen testing is not a sustainable practice and is a short-term strategy to assist employees towards compliance with full vaccination. Active employees who are not fully vaccinated were informed in October 2021 that the policy will likely change in the near future to require mandatory vaccination for existing employees.
The updated policy sets out clear timelines for existing employees to become fully vaccinated in order to continue to work at SAH. We will continue to allow for Human Rights Code exceptions, such as for medically contraindicated individuals.
“At this time, we are working with approximately 70 of our 1766 active employees, who remain not yet vaccinated,” says Ila Watson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sault Area Hospital. “While we are committed to continuing to work with our employees, the overall safety of our people, public and patients is paramount.”
SAH assesses the environment on an ongoing basis and makes decisions regarding the management of COVID-19 by following best practice guidelines and advice from public health to ensure the continued safety of our patients, health care workers and community. As part of this ongoing assessment, we consider community and neighbouring activity, delta variant and increases in transmission, our vulnerable patient population, as well as other factors. Based on our continued assessment, it was recommended that our policy be updated to reflect mandatory vaccination for all workers.
“The addition of mandatory vaccination for all health care workers at SAH will further strengthen safety measures to protect our patients, health care workers, and our community,” Dr. Lucas Castellani, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control.
SAH continues to assess the environment and make decisions regarding the management of COVID-19 by following best practice guidelines and advice from public health to ensure the continued safety of our patients, health care workers and community while providing patient-centred care.
To find out more about SAH, visit: www.sah.on.ca