Hundreds of employees face termination with HHS vaccination deadline less than a week left – Hamilton
About 360 employees who failed to comply with the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy at one of Hamilton’s two major hospital networks were just days away from being laid off, according to its president.
In a letter to staff on Thursday, Hamilton’s head of health Rob MacIsaac revealed the consequences of people not getting vaccinated without good reason have essentially been narrowed down to one notice of contract termination.
“However, this termination notice may be rescinded if employees are fully vaccinated by January 26,” MacIsaac said.
Hamilton children ages 5-11 currently receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
“Individuals who have… a single dose of vaccine… have the opportunity to avoid termination by signing a written agreement pledging to be fully vaccinated by January.”
He went on to say that those who go that route must be deemed fully vaccinated by that date, or face layoffs.
Individuals approved for religious or medical exemptions will be required to take sick leave or continue to be tested at least twice a week.
As of Thursday, more than 96% of HHS workers were vaccinated, leaving the hospital with just over 12,780 fully vaccinated out of 13,317 hospital employees. Just under 100 people had at least one shot.
To date, 68 individuals have been disciplined for non-compliance with reporting or inspection, and seven of them have been terminated. Less than five people have a medical exemption.
It left 360 people who chose not to get vaccinated or not report their condition.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for St. Joe’s said its numbers were flat over the past week.
About 99% of the 5,760 employees and their doctors reported, with 95% fully vaccinated. About 85 people (1.5%) were partially vaccinated.
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Spokeswoman Maria Hayes told Global News: “Just over 3% are pursuing an exemption, have not been vaccinated or have not responded.
“Our immunization deadline is December 14, at which point we will begin taking disciplinary actions.”
According to Hayes, days of unpaid school holidays and even layoffs await those who are not fully immunized in the next month.
Over 83% of 12-year-old Hamiltonians are eligible to be fully immunized
In the past seven days, Hamilton’s medical partners have delivered just over 8,300 doses of the vaccine, with Friday’s biggest injection of the week – 1,556.
The November average was 1,057 photos per day, slightly less than what was recorded in all of October – the average was 1,068 photos per day.
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As of Wednesday, 83.1% of eligible Hamiltonians over the age of 12 were fully immunized while 86% had received at least a single dose. The city still lags behind the provincial average, with 86.1% fully vaccinated and 89.1% receiving at least one dose of vaccine.
People 70 to 84 years old have met the Health Department’s target of 90% first and second dose coverage, while Hamiltonians 25 to 29 years old have the lowest vaccination rates among those eligible people in the community, only 72.9% are fully immunized.
Hamilton is behind 31 other public health units in two-dose vaccination rates in Ontario.
Hamilton’s weekly COVID-19 case rate up slightly
Hamilton’s daily COVID-19 case rate rose slightly on a daily basis with public health reporting a seven-day average case rate of 22 on Thursday, one more than Wednesday.
So far, for the whole of November, the city has had an average case rate of 18 cases per day, slightly below the 22 cases per day reported in October.
Active cases also rebounded to 204 cases on Thursday, an increase of 23 cases from the 181 cases reported on Wednesday.
More than 67% of all active cases are in people under the age of 50, while 42% are under the age of 30.
The city’s positivity percentage – which represents the number of positive tests from laboratories – increased slightly for the week to 2.4% from 1.4 reported in last week.
Hamilton’s figure is hitting the provincial average of 2.6% reported on Thursday.
Since the pandemic began in March 2020, Hamilton has reported 25,670 COVID cases.
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There are nine ongoing outbreaks reported involving a total of 66 cases citywide as of November 25, the largest being at St. Peter’s, where there are a total of 18 cases – 4 of the staff and 14 of the patients.
The hospital reported one death in the stroke. The city’s COVID-related death toll since the pandemic began is 419 as of Thursday with the latest case involving a person over the age of 80.
Among the schools that are experiencing the outbreak, St. Gabriel of the Catholic council on Barton Road in Stoney Creek is the largest of the five with 13 students and one staff member.
In the past 14 days, both public boards have reported 47 cases with 37 students.
Hamilton hospitals are reporting a total of 12 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday, seven at Hamilton Health Sciences and five at St. Joe’s.
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