The Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued Directive 6 mandating that hospitals, home and community care service providers and paramedic services develop and maintain strong COVID-19 vaccination policies to ensure their employees, staff, contractors, students and volunteers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or, if they cannot provide proof of vaccination (or have a valid medical exemption), tested regularly. The College reminds its members employed in those organizations that they should comply with all such policies.
The vaccination policy must be in effect no later than September 7, 2021, and at a minimum will require these individuals to provide proof of one of the three things:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19;
- A medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
- Completion of a COVID-19 vaccination educational session.
You can learn more from the Ontario government’s announcement here.
At this time, this Directive only applies to:
- hospitals within the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act;
- home and community care service providers within the meaning of the Home Care and Community Services Act;
- local health integration networks within the meaning of the Local Health System Integration Act; and
- ambulance services withing the meaning of the Ambulance Act.
If you are unsure if your workplace falls within these settings, please check with your employer or contact the Ministry of Health’s health care provider hotline at 1-866-212-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Memo from the Ministry also states that:
"The province continues to strongly recommend that all healthcare workers, contractors and students and volunteers that come into contact with these vulnerable populations complete a full two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series as an additional way to protect these groups. Offering a full vaccine series to everyone in Ontario continues to be our mission – including to those who need additional support, counselling or adapted access."
The College encourages its members to become vaccinated so that they and their staff, families and patients are protected against COVID-19.
For more information in understanding Directive 6, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s Directive 6 Resource Guide.
The Ministry of Health will be providing more information in the weeks leading up to September 7, and the College will work alongside the Ministry to ensure members are informed of how any vaccination policy will affect them and their practice.