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SMH Implementing Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

[New Tecumseth, ON – September 1, 2021] As of Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Stevenson Memorial Hospital’s (SMH) COVID-19 vaccination policy will come into effect, which states that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all staff, physicians and other professional staff, students, volunteers and contractors.

SMH staff (and others listed) are to be vaccinated or submit a valid medical or human rights exemption by October 31, 2021. Those who have not declared their status or are not fully vaccinated will be required to complete mandatory COVID-19 education and undergo regular COVID-19 antigen testing. Any new hires at SMH will require confirmation of full COVID-19 vaccination or valid exemption upon starting their role.

After October 31, 2021, individuals who are not fully vaccinated (and do not have an approved medical exemption or other approved exemption under the Ontario Human Rights Code) will be subject to progressive policies beyond mandatory education and testing and may lead to unpaid leave and/or termination for cause.

“We need to do everything we can as a health care organization to ensure that we have the safest environment possible to deliver care to our community,” says Jody Levac, President and CEO, SMH. “Knowing how aggressive this virus is, the risks to our organization and the proven effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine have lead us to this outcome. We are not going to compromise the safety of our staff, patients and families at SMH,” he adds.

SMH is one of 14 health care organizations within Ontario Health’s Central Region that has signed a Letter of Intent which outlines the goal of a 100% vaccination rate at each hospital in the Region. This collaborative approach signifies the united front that implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers is the right thing to do with COVID-19 cases on the rise and the number of hospitalizations among unvaccinated people.

A majority of SMH staff and physicians/professional staff are vaccinated and the hospital will be working closely to support those in need of a vaccination to work towards their goal of a 100% vaccination rate.