Province mandates employees of long-term care facilities in Ontario provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination

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Published May 31, 2021 at 2:26 pm

The Ontario Government has become the first provincial government in Canada that will require vaccinations among staff members of long-term care facilities (LTC).

On Monday (May 31), the Province announced it would be mandatory for LTCs to implement COVID-19 immunization policies for staff.

The Province also included a set of criteria that must be met as part of these policies, which mandates that all staff members provide proof that they have been vaccinated or a documented medical reason for why they have not, as well as participate in an education program that details the benefits of being vaccinated and the risks of not being vaccinated.

Long-term care facilities will be required to have these policies in place by July 1, and they will also be required to track and report on the implementation of their policies, including overall staff immunization rates—however, the immunization status of individual employees will not be shared with the Province.

“Widespread vaccination within long-term care homes is the best way to protect residents, staff and their families,” Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, said in a news release.

“We want to build on the success of our long-term care vaccination campaign to date. That’s why we’re leading the way with new measures to promote full immunization among long-term care staff,” she continued.

As of May 30, the Province estimates approximately 97 per cent of LTC residents have been fully immunized, and 89 per cent of staff have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 66 per cent having received both.

“The vast majority of long-term care staff have embraced vaccination to protect their residents. For those without medical issues who are still reluctant, a mandatory education program will be helpful to correct misinformation and alleviate their concerns,” reads a statement from the Ontario Long Term Care Association.

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