The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has released details of its staff vaccination policy.

First announced over a week ago, CEO Lori Marshall says the local hospitals are joining others in Sarnia, Leamington, and Windsor to ensure 100% of staff, board members, volunteers, and contractors are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 31st.

“Our senior team and I have been rounding at both sites to chat with staff and physicians, just to make sure they know where to go to get more information if they need to,” Marshall says. “I have conversations with individuals who are on both sides of the vaccine discussion. What I am pleased (with) though is that all of those conversations have been professional, and that’s all that I can ask for at this stage.”

To meet the October 31st deadline, staff will have to have had at least their first shot by September 18th, and their second dose no later than October 17th.

Of staff who have declared their status, Marshall says 86% have reported being fully vaccinated with both shots.

“We continue to hope that with news of our policy decision as well as the vaccine passport in the province, we will continue to see our numbers increase.”

Staff who are not fully vaccinated or have a valid exemption will be laid off or have their privileges suspended immediately.