Ontario nurses believe Province’s vaccine policies too lenient

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Published August 18, 2021 at 2:35 pm

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While Ontario’s nurses approve of the Province’s decision to implement vaccine policies for certain settings, including hospitals, long-term care homes, and schools, they don’t believe the policies go far enough to protect against the spread of the virus.

The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) believes the current policies, which allow the option to either get vaccinated or attend an education session and regular rapid antigen testing, are still too lenient.

The RNAO is urging the Province to implement a vaccination mandate for staff in hospitals and long-term care settings, as well as schools, which open in just a few weeks.

“Proof of full vaccination must be provided and the only exception should be for people with a medical exemption,” Morgan Hoffarth, president of the RNAO, said in a news release.

“Medically exempted staff must be required to present proof of a negative test, a minimum of twice a week (or 24 to 48 hours prior to work for part-time and casual workers), not just once a week as the government indicated. These are crucial steps to prevent further spread of a highly transmissible variant,” she continued.

The association is also encouraging the implementation of a vaccine passport, which they believe is essential for allowing the economy to reopen safely.

“A vaccine passport is essential policy to protect Ontarians and businesses,” Doris Grinspun, CEO of the RNAO, said in a news release.

“Mandating vaccine certificates to access risky indoor non-essential services and long-distance travel will keep the workforce safe, energize dormant sectors of the economy and protect businesses that implement these measures,” Grinspun added.

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