High vaccine compliance at Sault Area Hospital and municipality
COVID-19 vaccination policies at the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Area Hospital appear to be working, with both organizations seeing high compliance among staff.
Hospital and city officials said only a very small number of employees have refused to comply with vaccine mandates.
Sault Ste. Marie's CAO Malcolm White said around 88 per cent of city employees are fully vaccinated, while five per cent have received one vaccine dose.
He said those refusing to comply with the policy have been sent home without pay.
"We had seven staff who didn't comply with the policy, who did not either disclose their status or indicated to us that they would not agree to the testing provisions of the policy," said White. "Those seven will be placed on unpaid leave at this time."
White said he hopes those who have been placed on unpaid leave will change their minds about vaccination.
"I don't believe we have received any specific medical exemptions at this time, although there may be some that I'm not aware of," he said.
"Essentially, our goal is to have a fully vaccinated workplace to meet our obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act."
Meantime, officials at Sault Area Hospital say 98 per cent of professional staff and all on-site volunteers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those not fully vaccinated will be educated on the importance of getting their shots. Hospital officials said fewer than five employees have been placed on unpaid leave for non-compliance with the vaccine policy and that no grievances have been filed.