At North York General (NYGH), we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safest environment for patients, visitors and every person working and volunteering at our organization.
Essential care partners (support people) and visitors
To continue keeping everyone at NYGH safe and to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks at our sites, we are joining other hospitals in Ontario by extending our mandatory vaccination policy to include essential care partners (support people) and visitors.
Starting November 15, 2021, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (14 days from the second dose of a two-dose series or from one dose of a single-dose series) will be required for anyone visiting or accompanying a patient at NYGH and its community sites. The Seniors’ Health Centre is governed by its own policy according to provincial guidance and directives for Long-Term Care Homes.
Exceptions will apply for individuals visiting or accompanying certain patients, and people with medical exemptions approved by the NYGH Patient Experience Office. NYGH will not accept proof of a negative PCR or rapid antigen test in place of proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
Patient visiting hours and limits as introduced on July 21, 2021 remain in place. See our Essential Care Provider and Visitor Policy page for details.
Requiring proof of full vaccination before visiting patients is consistent with Ontario’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination program and adds a necessary layer of protection for everyone at NYGH.
Staff, physicians, contractors, volunteers and students/learners
COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all NYGH staff, physicians, contractors, volunteers and students/learners. NYGH joined 14 Central Region Hospitals to introduce a coordinated approach to mandatory vaccination.
Please see an October 29 update to staff from Karyn Popovich, President and CEO:
As you are aware, full COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory as of today for all staff, physicians, contractors, volunteers and learners except for those with an approved medical or human rights exemption. This is an important measure being taken by NYGH along with many hospitals and health care organizations across Ontario to provide the safest environment for patients, visitors and health care workers.
Requiring everyone working at NYGH to be fully vaccinated will help to prevent the kind of outbreaks we experienced in previous waves that adversely impacted the delivery of patient care.
Thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated. I would also like to recognize all those who have given their time to help answer questions and act as expert resources for colleagues. I know there are many across our departments and sites who have helped ensure that everyone is supported to make an informed decision about vaccination.
I am pleased to share that our vaccination rates have increased significantly over the last few weeks and days. As of Thursday, October 28, 95.7% of staff were fully vaccinated and 1.6% partially vaccinated. For physicians 99.6% are fully vaccinated. This is positive progress toward our goal of 100% full vaccination. Let’s keep going!
As of tomorrow (October 30), those who have not provided proof of full vaccination will be placed on unpaid leave. We continue to encourage and support all staff to be vaccinated and expect to see continuous improvement in the days and weeks ahead.
We are looking forward to welcoming back staff who are on leave once they become fully vaccinated.
We want to ensure that the remaining staff who are on the road to becoming fully vaccinated and are planning to get their first shot have time to complete the process. Please be advised that staff who are not fully vaccinated will have until November 30, 2021 to receive their vaccination and become compliant with the mandatory vaccination requirements.
On November 30, NYGH will terminate employment for those who have not provided proof of vaccination. Human Resources has been in direct contact with staff who will be placed on unpaid leave to inform them about the process for termination of employment if they remain non-compliant at the end of November.
NYGH has active contingency plans in place, and we are confident that we will be able to manage any remaining staffing gaps and that there will be no impact on patient care as a result of leaves of absence and any potential terminations after November 30.
With the vaccination rates going up each day in our community and at NYGH, the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter. Thank you for your commitment to patients and collaborative spirit throughout this challenging time.
Note: update has been edited for length.