678 unvaccinated health care workers on Vancouver Island have been let go from their position, according to BC health officials on Tuesday.
In total, 4,227 health care workers in BC are on leave of absence without pay. The highest rate of unvaccinated health care workers is in Interior Health with 1,369.
BC health care workers who had not received a COVID-19 vaccination by Tuesday, October 26th, were let go from their position, as per Dr. Bonnie Henry’s provincial health order.
The order applied to any of those working in healthcare settings, including students, doctors, contractors, and volunteers.
During the weekly COVID-19 update, Minister Adrian Dix said that a number of staff were either casual staff or important health care members.
“There’s a number of casual staff who haven’t worked a lot of days,” said Dix.
“But there are other staff who are obviously very important people in health care teams, and this is, as noted, a necessary step and a solemn day because it has implications for those people and their families and for patients and their families.”
Of the remaining 2,180 health care workers let go on Tuesday, five per cent are in Northern Health, 376; two per cent are in Fraser Health, 664; two percent are in Providence Health Care, 122; two per cent are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 522; and two percent are in the Provincial Health Services Authority, or 496.
The vast majority of BC healthcare workers have been vaccinated, though, for a total of 126,343 workers receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Minister Dix, unemployed healthcare workers who decide to get vaccinated can return to work.
Another change this week was marked on Monday when the first day of the second phase of the BC Vaccine Card was initiated.
With that, only British Columbians who are fully-vaccinated may enter certain non-discretionary venues and events, including sit-down restaurants, venues, or hockey arenas.
In light of this second phase, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that venues would be allowed to go to full capacity.