Hamilton’s two major hospital networks are now less than a month away from meeting mandatory COVID-19 vaccination deadlines for staff and both report compliance rates above 95 percent.

As of Thursday, most of the city’s staff and physicians are fully vaccinated with many more updating their status as each week passes, according to spokespersons for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). .

HHS ‘Wendy Stewart told Global News that more than 96 percent of workers are vaccinated with just over 10 days left before a strict deadline for their mandatory vaccination policy takes effect on November 30.

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“Currently, all staff and physicians are only required to report their vaccination status and participate in periodic testing if proof of vaccination is not provided,” Stewart said in an email.

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“Most of the HHS staff and physicians meet the reporting requirement and are also fully vaccinated.”

About 350 people with HHS were fully vaccinated in the past week, putting the hospital up to 12,735 fully vaccinated of its 13,317 employees. Another 137 say they have had at least one injection.

So far, 52 people have been sanctioned for not complying with reports or tests and seven of them have been fired. Fewer than five have a medical exemption.

It leaves 445 who have chosen not to be vaccinated or have not reported their situation.

Meanwhile, St. Joe’s says 99 percent of its 5,760 employees and doctors have reported, and 95 percent are fully vaccinated. About 85 people (1.5 percent) are partially vaccinated.

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“A little over 3 percent are seeking an exemption, are not vaccinated or have not responded,” spokeswoman Maria Hayes told Global News.

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“Our vaccination deadline is December 14, at which point we will begin progressive disciplinary action.”

Unpaid leaves of absence and even dismissal await those who do not get fully vaccinated in the next month, according to the agencies.

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In September, both city hospitals presented plans for mandatory vaccination policies, arguing that it was necessary to maintain safe work environments and protect patients against the coronavirus.

Those who are not vaccinated for approved reasons are tested twice a week.

Last week, Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) in Burlington revealed that 38 employees were placed on unpaid leave and 13 were fired for failing to meet mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

The move came just over a week after a deadline that required staff to adhere to an administration and vaccination policy.

More than 82% of the eligible population over 12 years of age is fully vaccinated in Hamilton

Over the past seven days, Hamilton’s health partners have put just over 8,200 doses of vaccines in arms, and last Friday it recorded the highest intake since Oct. 8: 1,772 injections.

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That number is well above the monthly average for daily doses given so far in November, which is 1,056 per day.

The November average so far is slightly lower than the one recorded throughout October, 1,068 shots per day, and further behind the September average of 1,488 per day.

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As of Wednesday, 82.7 percent of eligible Hamiltonians age 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, while 85.9 percent have received at least a single puncture. The city still lags behind the provincial average, which sees 85.8 percent fully vaccinated and 88.9 percent with at least one dose of vaccine.

Residents aged 70 to 84 have reached the health ministry goal of covering 90% of the first and second doses, while Hamiltonians aged 25 to 29 represent the lowest vaccination rates in the community at just 72 , 4% fully vaccinated.

Hamilton is behind 31 other public health units in the percentage of two-dose vaccines in Ontario, as of Nov. 18.

Hamilton’s Weekly COVID-19 Case Rates Drop Slightly

Hamilton reported 35 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and saw the city’s seven-day average rate rise from 15 to 20 as of Thursday.

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The rate is slightly higher than the November daily average so far, and lower than the average of 22 cases per day reported for October.

Active cases increased for the third day in a row to 157 as of November 19, an increase of 13.

More than 62% of all active cases correspond to people under 50 years of age, while 41.4% are under 30 years of age.

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There are 10 reported outbreaks linked to a total of 61 cases across the city as of November 18. The largest is at St. Peter’s Hospital, which has 18 cases in total: four among staff and 14 among patients.

The outbreaks in schools include cases in three public entities and two private facilities.

The biggest is with the Catholic school board’s St. Gabriel Elementary School on Barton Street in Stoney Creek, which has seen total cases grow in three days to 12 as of Thursday.

In the past 14 days, both public boards together have reported 41 cases with 35 among students.

Hospitals in Hamilton reported a total of 18 COVID patients as of Friday, including eight people in intensive care units (ICUs).

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