47 employees at Ottawa’s children’s hospital suspended without pay for violating vaccine mandate

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OTTAWA —
Forty-seven employees at Ottawa’s Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario have been placed on unpaid leave, and could be fired in two weeks, for failing to comply with its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

In August, CHEO announced all doctors, nurses, staff, volunteers, learners and contractors must receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to enter the facility. The policy started on Sept. 7.

As of Friday, 99.3 per cent of full-time personnel and 97.6 per cent of part-time and casual personnel are immunized at CHEO. The hospital has a total of 3,865 personnel on site.

Three employees have been granted a medical exemption.

“In total 47 personnel, which includes 29 part-time and casual, have chosen not to get vaccinated and are therefore being placed on unpaid suspension leave,” said CHEO in a statement on Friday afternoon.

“We hope all of these people will choose to come back to work at CHEO by getting vaccinated in the next two weeks. If they don’t do so by October 29, their employment at CHEO will come to an end.”

CHEO says 70 per cent of the children and youth it serves are not currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, and it’s important to add in this extra layer of protection at the hospital.

“Evidence-based vaccines add one more layer of protection to keep everyone safe at CHEO in addition to universal masking, physical distancing, entrance screening and other safety measures,” said CHEO.

Two hundred and three employees at Bruyère Continuing Care, CHEO and the Queensway Carleton Hospital have been or will be placed on unpaid leave for failing to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

On Friday, the Queensway Carleton Hospital announced 37 employees were put on unpaid leave for violating the vaccine mandate.

The hospital in Ottawa’s west end announced Friday afternoon that 98 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated and complying with the new policy for staff.

Ottawa’s Bruyere announced early Friday afternoon that 119 employees are now on unpaid leave for failing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

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