A Toronto long-term care home has placed 79 staff members on unpaid, indefinite leave as a part of their required COVID-19 immunization policy.
Copernicus Lodge on Roncesvalles Avenue says when the policy was announced on Sept. 10, there were 111 unvaccinated staff. Since then 32 have received their first doses and the rest have been placed on leave.
A statement from the long-term care home says they have been planning since the early summer for the possibility of a staffing storage due to their low number of vaccinated staff, even before the immunization policy was implemented.
They have already backfilled the positions of the staff on leave and are currently fully staffed. All the people working for the home have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are hopeful that our staff will choose to get vaccinated and return to work,” reads the statement.
Ontario announced a mandate that would require all long-term care workers to be vaccinated by November 15 or they would not be able to enter a home.
Previously, workers were required to disclose their vaccination status and those who are unvaccinated for non-medical reasons have to undergo education about the importance of immunization.
Phillips said that while 90 per cent of staff overall have received at least one dose, there were dozens of homes with vaccination rates below 80 per cent.