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WNGH implements vaccination policy

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Visitors and caregivers must provide proof of vaccination when entering the West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) as of Monday, Sept. 13.

The hospital says official proof from the Ministry of Health, or a vaccine card, will be required to visit patients in the Acute Care and Complex Continuing Care units, with the exception of visiting terminally ill patients only.

“The expectation is that everyone who can, will be vaccinated in health care,” said WNGH President and CEO Cynthia Desormiers. “Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, we have an obligation to keep our patients, residents, and staff safe and we’re accountable and responsible to do that. The best way to do that is to implement a policy that clearly outlines our expectation.”

Desormiers says if people are not able to be vaccinated and can’t provide proof of vaccination (two doses) then they have to have proof of negative COVID-19 test.

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“That will be implied for our staff, as a result of our policy, but it will also be applicable to visitors and caregivers. If you want to come in and visit your loved ones, family, or friends, you’ll need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated or proof of a negative COVID test up to 48 hours before your visit,” she said.

Desormiers says the fourth wave of COVID-19 is here, and the Delta variant is new and different than what we saw at the beginning of COVID-19. 

“We are concerned at WNGH. And we want to make sure we keep everybody safe. […] This is one of the many measures we’re taking to ensure our patients, our staff and our residents are safe,” she said.

Desormiers says all health care staff and physicians will need to be fully vaccinated, or staff will need to take an education course on the COVID-19 vaccination, and must be regularly tested.

“Effective Sept. 7, staff will be tested three times a week if they’re not fully vaccinated. That’s applicable to all healthcare workers in our hospital, along with physicians,” she finished.

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