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More than 50 staff affected at Burlington’s top hospital as COVID vaccination deadline passes

A number of staffers are either out of a job or now on a paid leave at Burlington’s top hospital for not meeting COVID-19 mandatory vaccinations requirements.

In a release on Wednesday night, Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) president and chief executive officer (CEO) Eric Vandewall revealed 38 employees have been placed on unpaid leave and 13 terminated.

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The statement comes a little over a week after a deadline requiring staffers to meet a COVID-19 immunization and management policy expired.

The policy, drafted in September, stated that all JBH employees, credentialed staff (such as physicians), contracted staff, learners and volunteers were to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1, unless they had a medical or human rights code exemption.

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As of Nov. 9, 1,770 (97.25 per cent) of JBH’s active employees are fully vaccinated, according to the hospital’s executive.

“Although the Ontario government has indicated that at this time there will be no province-wide mandate requiring all healthcare workers to become fully vaccinated, our commitment to our mandatory vaccination policies has not changed,” Vandewall said in his statement.

“We believe it is the right decision for JBH, to protect the safety of our patients, their loved ones, our teams, and our community.”

The hospital is currently caring for four confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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Halton Region has 98 active cases as of Wednesday with a seven-day average case rate of 14.

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All three of the region’s reported outbreaks are at public elementary schools, with all of them reporting just two cases each.

Over 85 per cent of the region’s population is fully vaccinated, on par with the provincial average of 85.1 per cent fully vaccinated as of Nov. 10.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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