Hospitals enact mandatory vaccination policies for visitors
CANADA & WORLD
TORONTO —More than a dozen hospitals across Ontario are implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies for visitors, in addition to mandates for their staff. University Health Network in Toronto, which enacted an early vaccine mandate for staff that went beyond a provincial directive, is now planning to ask visitors for proof of full vaccination starting Oct. 22. “At UHN we care for people who are amongst the most immune-compromised and immune-suppressed patient populations in programs such as the multi-organ transplant program, cancer program and heart program,” spokeswoman Gillian Howard said in a statement. “Contracting this virus, in addition to the conditions patients are currently being treated for, could well result in death so we are doing everything within our power to make the hospital sites as safe as possible.” Beginning on Oct. 25, Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga and west Toronto will require proof of vaccination from people going to visit patients, with exceptions in place, such as for patients in the emergency department. Other hospitals with mandatory visitor vaccination policies in place or on the way include Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, The Ottawa Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, Cornwall Community Hospital, Brockville General Hospital, and William Osler Health System. Windsor Regional Hospital was one of the first to require proof of vaccination from visitors as of Aug. 30, though unlike most other hospitals that are following suit, it does allow unvaccinated visitors to enter if they have had a negative result on a PCR test within the past 72 hours. Director of communications Steve Erwin said in general the community has been supportive. “Do we get people that show up at the hospital or at screening that are frustrated or at times angry? Sure we do,” he said in an interview.