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COVID-19 vaccinations not mandatory for staff at three Ottawa hospitals


The Ottawa Hospital, Queensway-Carleton Hospital and Montfort Hospital are not making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for staff to work at the hospitals.

Instead, all three Ottawa hospitals say they will follow the provincial directive on COVID-19 vaccines, requiring mandatory testing for anyone not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the Ontario government unveiled new vaccine policies for high-risk settings. As of Sept. 7, employees, staff, contractors and volunteers at hospitals will be required to provide proof of one of three things:

  • Full vaccination against COVID-19
  • A medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19, or
  • Completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational session

Individuals who do not provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 will be required to undertake regular antigen testing.

On Thursday, CHEO announced a mandatory vaccine policy for staff, volunteers, learners and contractors. If doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers are not vaccinated, CHEO says, "all options will be considered to effectively enforce the policy."

Montfort Hospital

"Montfort welcomes and will follow the provincial guidelines regarding the vaccination of staff members," said the Montfort Hospital in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

"Every Montfort staff member is expected to be fully vaccinated by September 7, with the exception of those with a documented medical or human rights exemption. Staff who are not fully vaccinated by September 7 will be subject to regular COVID-19 testing before coming into work. In addition, further education on the COVID-19 vaccine will be required by all staff, medical staff, learners and volunteers who are not vaccinated."

On Twitter, the Montfort Hospital said more than 2,000 employees, doctors, volunteers, students and trainees at the hospital are fully vaccinated.

Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital says in line with the directive from the Ontario government, anyone working in the hospital environment is expected to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

"In line with guidance from the Ontario government, all staff who are not fully vaccinated by Sept. 7 will be subject to regular COVID-19 testing before coming into work. In addition, further education on the COVID-19 vaccine will be required by all staff, medical staff, learners and volunteers who are not vaccinated," said the Ottawa Hospital in a statement to CTV News Ottawa. 

"Patients should know that when they come to The Ottawa Hospital, they are in the best of hands. Knowing they are being cared for by someone who has been vaccinated can provide a great deal of comfort to them. It is an important step to ensuring the safety of everyone in the hospital."

Queensway Carleton Hospital

"QCH will be following the provincial directive," said the Queensway Carleton Hospital on Friday.

"This won’t be a big change, as most of our team is naturally inclined to be vaccinated since it keeps them safe, keeps their families safe and protects our patients. Our vaccination rates are good – more than 90 per cent fully vaccinated – with more proofs of vaccination rolling in every week."


An Ontario infectious disease specialist says the plan by Ottawa hospitals to test unvaccinated staff is too vague.

"The other interesting point though with Ottawa is they keep saying we'll do regular testing; that obviously isn't nothing, it provides some degree of safety, but the details are important," said Dr. Isaac Bogoch during an interview on CTV News at Six with Christina Succi.

"How regular is that testing? What testing is going to be done? Do you need to test negative before you come into work for every shift? I mean, you can still add incremental levels of safety with that, but I still think that if everyone is fully vaccinated it would create a much safer indoor space."

The University Health Network has introduced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all staff. UHN – whose hospitals include Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret – says any employee who decides not to get vaccinated by the end of October will be terminated.

"Health care providers absolutely have to be vaccinated," said Dr. Bogoch Saturday evening.

"Clearly, Toronto is taking a very, very hardline approach to that. I appreciate that is contentious but I think it's a fair assumption to say that if we are all vaccinated, we will provide a much safer working environment.' Top Stories

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