Despite news from the province earlier this week announcing the lifting of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for staff working in various sectors, including hospitals, the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) says for them, not much will change.
“The safety of our patients and our hospital community is, and always has been our number one priority,” says Lindsay Smylie Smith, Communications Specialist at NBRHC. “[The hospital] is currently reviewing the announcements made yesterday by the province regarding changes some of the existing COVID-19 mandates and how they might apply to our hospital. For those coming to NBRHC, nothing changes.”
Smylie Smith says the current safety measures will continue to be in place, adding “they help protect everyone at our Health Centre and the vulnerable populations we serve.”
When it comes to staff, patients and care partners entering the Health Centre, they will continue to be screened and need to wear masks.
“Our visitor restrictions have not changed and we have no plans to change our vaccine policy for staff,” she says. “We will continue to review and assess these policies and procedures and will update you if there are any changes. In the meantime, we appreciate the communities support as we work to provide the safest care possible for those who need us.”
The Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday it is lifting all vaccine mandates in schools, hospitals, long-term care homes, and other settings where employees previously had to be fully vaccinated to continue to work. However, the province says individual organizations can continue to enforce their own policies. That new policy goes into effect on March 14.