Kingston, Ont. hospital places 59 employees on indefinite leave for violating vaccine mandate
Main entrance to the Kingston General Hospital. (Kimberley Johnson/CTV News Ottawa)
KINGSTON, ONT. -- Kingston Health Sciences Centre has placed 59 employees on an indefinite unpaid leave for failing to comply with its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.
All physicians, staff and learners at the Kingston, Ont. research and teaching hospital were required to provide proof of having received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or a documented medical reason for not being vaccinated, by Sept. 21. Under the policy, all staff are required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 22
On Sept. 22, the hospital placed 136 employees on a two week, unpaid administrative leave of absence for failing to provide proof of a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Thursday, KHSC said over the past two weeks, 77 employees provided proof of vaccination or a valid exemption and will be able to return to work.
Fifty-nine staff members have now been placed on an indefinite unpaid leave for failing to comply with the policy, said KHSC.
"As we have reached the end of the two-week unpaid leave for staff who are in non-compliance with KHSC’s mandatory vaccination policy, any individual who has not produced proof of vaccination or a valid exemption has been placed on an indefinite unpaid leave while we work to determine next steps," said KHSC.
"KHSC remains committed to enforcing our mandatory vaccine policy. We believe that vaccination is the top preventive strategy against COVID-19, in conjunction with screening, wearing personal protective equipment such as masks, and physical distancing."
As of Thursday, 97 per cent of KHSC staff have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are considered fully vaccinated. Two per cent of staff have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Any partially vaccinated staff (one dose) have until October 22 to receive their second dose. Up until Oct. 22 partially vaccinated staff will need to submit negative COVID antigen tests on a weekly basis," said KHSC.
There are more than 5,900 employees at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, including nurses and doctors.
The Kingston Health Sciences Centre includes Kingston General Hospital, the Hotel Dieu Hospital and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario.