Waterloo Region LTC home lays off 14 workers who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19

Waterloo Region says 14 employees were laid off from Sunnyside Home in Waterloo after choosing not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The move follows a provincial government directive requiring all staff, volunteers, students and support workers in Ontario’s long-term care homes to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine from here Nov. 15 or show proof of medical exemption.

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Monday was the original deadline for workers to be fully immunized, but the Ministry of Long-Term Care pushed that date back to December 13.

The region, which runs the long-term care home, says it has encouraged staff to get vaccinated.

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“We have supported the staff throughout the vaccination process and I am happy that we were able to increase our numbers and get more staff vaccinated,” said region general manager Bruce Lauckner.

“Unfortunately, some of the staff have made the decision not to be vaccinated. Even if we were hoping for a different outcome, we must follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

The region says employees represent a variety of roles in the home. He tries to fill the positions as quickly as possible.

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He also says that 18 of his other 452 employees have currently received a dose of the vaccine, which allows them to continue working.

The province said 98% of workers received a first injection on Monday.

—With files from the Canadian Press

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