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COVID-19 vaccine policy updated for Alberta health care workers

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EDMONTON, AB – Alberta Health Services is tweaking its vaccine policy for health care workers to temporarily allow for proof of negative COVID-19 tests in some communities.

Only sites considered at risk of service disruptions resulting from staffing shortages due to employees who are not vaccinated will be part of this testing program.

AHS President, Dr. Verna Yiu says this will begin on December 13th.

“I want to be clear that the testing option is temporary and will be limited in scope,” said Yiu on Monday. “As of Friday, about 260 employees will be eligible for this temporary testing option across approximately 16 work locations provincially.”

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Alberta Health Services will provide a full list of the test sites by the December 13th as well as AHS’ immunization policy deadline will also be adjusted to that same date to accommodate the introduction of testing. The testing addition will be reviewed by March 2022.

Health Minister Jason copping says he’s heard from many Albertans, especially in smaller communities, who are worried the original AHS policy will impact patient care. He notes this directive “is about protecting patient care, primarily in rural areas, which will always be my top priority.”

As of right now, Over 96% of health care workers and 99% of doctors in Alberta are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.

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