More Hospitals Are Putting Staff On Unpaid Leave – Full COVID-19 Update

More Hospitals Are Putting Staff On Unpaid Leave – Full COVID-19 Update

The next time you visit a local hospital it won’t be nearly as difficult to find a parking space. That’s because dozens of hospital staff are being placed on unpaid leave or being fired due to their vaccination status. A spokesman for Cambridge Memorial Hospital said 51 staff members who either haven’t been vaccinated or won’t share their status have been placed on leave. St. Mary’s General Hospital expects to put around 30 staff members on unpaid leave today. The Wellington Health Care Alliance will put 14 employees out on the street today too. This comes 1-week after a hospital in Windsor fired almost 50 employees. All of the facilities say they don’t expect any disruptions to hospital services or programs.

The Land Crossing With America Will Open Next Month:

The Biden administration says the United States will reopen its land borders to non-essential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian vacationers and day-trippers have perhaps been the greatest casualties of the land-border closure. Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the US, Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic. The new rules to be announced today will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals entry to the US regardless of the reason for travel. That starts in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions will kick in for air travel from abroad.

 IMF Downgrades Canada’s Economic Recovery:

The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its outlook for the global recovery from the pandemic recession as well as for Canada this year. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF foresees global growth this year of 5.9 per cent, compared with its projection in July of six per cent — but its outlook for next year held steady at 4.9 per cent growth. For Canada, the IMF lowered its growth estimate for this year to 5.7 per cent from 6.3 per cent in July — but boosted its prediction for 2022 to 4.9 per cent from its previous estimate of 4.5 per cent. The downward revision for this year reflects a slowdown in economic activity resulting from a rise in COVID-19 cases and delayed production caused by supply shortages and a resulting acceleration of inflation.

Judge Says No to Fortin:

A Federal Court judge has struck down Major-General Dany Fortin’s request for reinstatement as the head of Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution campaign. He was abruptly removed from the high-profile position in May after an allegation of past sexual misconduct. In rendering her decision, Justice Ann Marie McDonald sided with the government’s view that if Fortin was unhappy with the decision, he should have filed a formal complaint through the military’s grievance system. The senior military officer was formally charged with one count of sexual assault in August.

Toronto Shifting Focus On Vaccine Strategy:

The City of Toronto says it’s shifting the focus of its COVID-19 vaccination efforts to convincing first dose recipients to get fully vaccinated. The city says that as of Monday, 215,000 Toronto residents still need to be vaccinated to reach its target of having 90 per cent of those age 12 and older fully immunized. It says 57 per cent of that group have received their first dose — and just over 48,000 mainly in the 18-to-29 year-old age group are considered overdue for their second shot. It says the VaxTO campaign will use tools such as highly targeted text and broadcast messages and contacting individuals wherever possible to urge people to get their second shot.

The Labour Shortage Is Expected to Hit America Hard:

All employers in the US want for Christmas is some holiday help but they might not get it. Companies that typically hire thousands of seasonal workers are heading into the holidays during one of the tightest job markets in decades, making it unlikely they’ll find all the workers they need. Job openings in the U-S are already plentiful with 10.4-million at the end of August and 11.1-million in July — the highest on record since at least December 2000. But an economist at job site Indeed says interest in seasonal work was down 13 per cent last week from a year earlier — and those searches were down 27 per cent from 2019 before the pandemic began.

BC Expands The Mask Mandate:

BC’s provincial health officer is expanding the COVID-19 mask mandate to include children aged five and older. Dr. Bonnie Henry has been under pressure from teachers and parents to include all children instead of just those 12 and up in the order to wear masks in public spaces. She also announced BC plans to provide COVID vaccinations to 340-thousand children aged five to 11 as early as November, pending approval by Health Canada. The start of the campaign will be prioritized in the Northern Health Region, where COVID transmission rates are highest and vaccine uptake is low.

Ontario Numbers:

Ontario announced 848 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. That was a  two-day total. 458 of those cases were logged Monday and 390 yesterday. The province says there were also two new deaths from the virus Monday and none yesterday. Health Minister Christine Elliott said 255 of the new cases recorded over the two days were in fully vaccinated people.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health reported 19 new cases yesterday. There hasn’t been a new death in the Region in over a week. The number of active cases dropped by 29, down to 119. There are 6 people hospitalized.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says the Thanksgiving long weekend produced 42 new cases. Half of those (21) were in Dufferin with only 10 reported cases in Guelph. There are now 6 people hospitalized and just 62 active cases.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Global News Kitchener / Cambridge Memorial Hospital

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