- The COVID-19 vaccination requirement for government employees in the healthcare and vulnerable sectors in New Brunswick has been lifted.
- According to the province’s mandate, employees who are not fully immunised have been placed on unpaid leave for the past five months.
- Dr. Mark MacMillan issued a statement advising people to stay at home if they are symptomatic to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep hospitals open.
New Brunswick’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for govt employees in the healthcare and the vulnerable sector has been lifted.
According to a government news release issued late Friday afternoon, the province is calling unimmunized workers back to facilities at regional health authorities, Extra-Mural/Ambulance NB, as well as corrections roles. They will be required to follow their employer’s health guidelines until they are fully vaccinated.
Nursing homes and adult residential facilities licensed by the Department of Social Development are also affected.
According to the province’s mandate, employees who are not fully immunized have been placed on unpaid leave for the past five months.
Beginning April 11, all employees are expected to report to work.
On Monday, the provincial government removed the requirement for most workers to be vaccinated, but it kept safeguards for those working in high-risk environments. The policy has been under review since all COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last month.
For employees in hospitals as well as other high-risk industries, Public Health now recommends three doses as the standard for full vaccination.
To protect the health care system, the head of the New Brunswick Medical Society is urging the public to follow masking, physical distancing, as well as other health guidelines.
In a statement, Dr. Mark MacMillan advised people to stay at home if they are symptomatic to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep hospitals open.
“While vaccination requirements for provincial employees may be relaxed, we strongly encourage all New Brunswickers, particularly those who work with patients and other vulnerable populations, to get fully vaccinated,” he said.
The number of employees affected by the new policy is unknown. A spokesperson for the Department of Finance, as well as the Treasury Board, which issued the update, did not respond to CBC News’ questions right away.
As healthcare facilities struggle with staffing shortages, the revised policy is timely.
As of Wednesday, 352 workers had been laid off due to COVID-19, a 41% increase in just eight days, according to the Vitalité Health Network. It intends to maintain the red alert status and impose several restrictions.
Earlier this week, hospitals in Moncton experienced long patient offloading times for ambulances.
Source: Global News
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