EDMONTON, AB – A change of heart by the Alberta government when it comes to unvaccinated health care workers.
In an announcement late Thursday afternoon, Alberta Health Services says any unvaccinated health care workers who’ve been placed on unpaid leave can go back to their jobs if they agree to be frequently tested for COVID-19.
There is a concern with a fifth wave on the horizon, a shortage of health care workers will put a big strain on the system.
“We are concerned about the rapid rise in Omicron cases across the province in recent days, and anticipate that it could further impact our health-care system quickly. We must ensure we have the staff and resources required to care for our patients,” says AHS President Dr. Verna Yiu.
The Alberta government says as Dec. 23, approximately 1,400 full-time and part-time staff who are not fully immunized have been placed on unpaid leave. The testing option allows those staff to return to work if they accept the testing option.
There is a catch, however. Testing will be available at the unvaccinated health care worker’s expense, and unimmunized staff will be required to provide proof of a negative test that was completed no more than 48 hours before each of their working shifts.
This temporary measure it will be reviewed before the end of March 2022.