The vaccine mandate at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance continues to bring staff aboard with getting a COVID shot.
Another seven staff decided to get a shot in the past week and will continue working at the hospital. That makes 97.1 per cent of CKHA employees vaccinated with just 31 still declining.
Hospital President and CEO Lori Marshall expressed her delight at the increase while acknowledging uptake appears to be saturated. “Certainly I continue to hope that we’ll see movement. However I think at this stage we’re certainly planning toward these numbers.”
“The numbers are small enough that there will be no impact to the services offered by Chatham Kent Health Alliance,” she says of the impending firings.
Marshall adds there’s plans to address the upcoming vacancies. “The split continues to be across clinical and non-clinical areas… We are continuing with recruitment and we are working with our union partners on the potential to combine part-time positions to make full-time positions.”
Other industries are exploring mandates too. Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby says discussion around a vaccine requirement for restaurant servers is “an ongoing process that has not come to a final resolution yet.”
“The Ministry of Labour is not in favour of such a policy. I’m still in discussions with the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s office on that issue,” says Colby, adding he may enact a local policy if the province doesn’t.
“That being said we haven’t had any restaurant related outbreaks here,” he notes.
The municipality also released numbers following the adoption of their own vaccine policy. There's 86 per cent of staff fully vaccinated and another six per cent have received their first dose. Chief Human Resources Officer Cathy Hoffman says more than 95 per cent of staff are expected to have both doses by mid-November.
“The numbers look good,” says CAO Don Shropshire.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent