Here are the noteworthy vaccine policies for Ottawa-Gatineau
Some institutions have made vaccination mandatory, others working on policies
Ottawa is now dealing with the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but thanks to readily available vaccines, things look a lot different than other waves.
The vast majority of institutions currently remain open, and many have introduced vaccination policies for both staff and members of the public.
So if you're wondering about the rules for that big fall music festival, or want to know if your child's teacher needs both shots, bookmark this page. We will regularly update it to bring you the latest information.
One thing to note: COVID-19 vaccination policies typically do not apply to people who can show medical reasons prevent them from getting immunized.
People in western Quebec should also be aware their province instituted a vaccine passport system that began Sept. 1. Ontario's proof of vaccination system started Sept. 22.
- Most federal public servants have to disclose their vaccination status. As of Nov. 15, those covered by the policy who aren't fully vaccinated without a valid reason can be put on unpaid leave.
- City of Ottawa staff and city councillors must be fully vaccinated as of Nov. 15, an extension of the original deadline. Those who are not vaccinated by that date won't be allowed to keep working and as of Nov. 15, 96 per cent were fully vaccinated; about 600 staff were not. Four unions have filed grievances over this.
- The City of Gatineau is following Quebec's vaccine policies, which currently do not require municipal employees to be vaccinated.
- The Nation staff have to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22 and if they aren't, they will need to be tested twice a week at their expense.
The health sector
Ontario health officials have directed hospitals across Ontario to come up with a vaccination plan, but the province has stopped short of making vaccines mandatory for health-care workers.
Here are the policies in place for eastern Ontario's health-care facilities:
- All staff and most visitors at The Ottawa Hospital must be fully vaccinated. It said Nov. 2 more than 99 per cent of staff, physicians and residents had done that and another 186 people were on unpaid leave.
- At Queensway Carleton Hospital, all employees and visitors must have both doses.
- The region's children's hospital, CHEO, has made double vaccination mandatory for staff, contractors, volunteers and learners. It said Oct. 29 more than 99 per cent of its workforce had been fully vaccinated.
- The Bruyère Hospital is mandating vaccines for anyone who works, learns, performs research, volunteers or is a member of its designated care program.
- Employees at the Montfort Hospital must have their second dose. As of Oct. 18, 100 per cent of its physicians and 97.5 per cent of staff had done so.
- Both the Almonte and Carleton Place hospitals are requiring visitors be fully vaccinated.
- The Brockville General Hospital requires anyone working on-site at any of the hospital's properties to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which includes employees, professional staff, contractors, volunteers and students.
- The Cornwall Community Hospital requires all of its staff, physicians, contractors, volunteers, students and visitors to be fully vaccinated.
- The Kingston Health Sciences Centre required staff, physicians, learners and visitors to be fully vaccinated. It said on Sept. 24 it had suspended 136 of its approximately 5,700 staff without pay for not following the rules.
- The Winchester District Memorial Hospital requires all employees, physicians, volunteers, learners, contractors, and new hires to be fully vaccinated. As of Sept. 1, 100 per cent of medical staff and volunteers were fully vaccinated, as were 97 per cent of employees.
Ontario requires long-term care workers across the province have at least a first dose as of Nov. 15 and be fully vaccinated by Dec. 13, removing the current option to undergo regular COVID-19 tests.
Private long-term care homes run by Chartwell Retirement Residences, Extendicare, Responsive Group Inc., Revera Inc. and Sienna Senior Living require employees to be fully vaccinated and those who aren't will be placed on unpaid leave.
Visitors to CISSS de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) facilities have to show proof they're fully vaccinated. There are exceptions for guardians and palliative care.
With in-person classes returning, Ontario has laid out rules for unvaccinated teachers and directed Ontario's school boards to come up with their own vaccination policies.
Quebec will not require school staff to be vaccinated.
- The Ottawa Catholic School Board is requiring all employees, bus drivers, frequent essential visitors, trustees and other professionals to be either fully vaccinated or to agree to regular tests and participate in a vaccine education program. Staff who don't could be fired.
- Vaccines are mandatory for staff and volunteers at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board as of Nov. 15, but not for students. Leave without pay is possible for those who don't follow them. As of Sept. 28, more than 90 per cent of these staff were fully vaccinated, said the board.
- The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, Ottawa's French Catholic school board, is asking school staff for proof of vaccination, and anyone who is not vaccinated will have to undergo training and regular screening.
Colleges and universities
- The University of Ottawa is requiring all students, staff, faculty and visitors to be fully vaccinated.
- At Carleton University, anyone showing up on campus must have had at least two doses.
- Algonquin College is mandating at least two doses for students, employees, contractors and visitors in its Ottawa, Perth and Pembroke campuses.
- Students, staff and faculty at Queen's University in Kingston must be fully vaccinated. Visitors must also abide by that policy.
- All students, employees, contractors and visitors at the three St. Lawrence College campuses must be fully vaccinated this fall.
Many people in the travel sector — both workers and travellers — are covered by the federal vaccine rules announced in early October.
- Both OC Transpo and the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) are part of the federally regulated transportation sector, meaning the government will require that employees be vaccinated by the end of October.
Sporting events are covered under provincial vaccine passports. Many eastern Ontario health units have tightened rules for organized indoor sports, check with yours for details.
Gatineau will require proof of vaccination for its arenas and pools, but not for parks and for renting recreational equipment. Here are more details in French from Radio-Canada, including city rules affecting this next section.
Arts and entertainment
- National museums such as the war, nature and science museums and the National Gallery of Canada will require visitors to prove they're fully vaccinated as of Dec. 1. Before that date, proof is only needed for eating areas of some museums.
- The Ottawa Art Gallery requires visitors to show proof.
- The Ottawa Police Service has said all members will need to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31, 2022. Until that time, those who are not fully vaccinated must provide a negative COVID-19 test every 72 hours.
- A policy is also in the works for Ontario Provincial Police members.
- Firefighters fall under the policy that's been announced by the City of Ottawa.
- The province has said all ambulance services must have a vaccination policy in place for paramedics.
Shopping and dining
- Large Ottawa malls like the Rideau Centre, the St. Laurent Shopping Centre and the Bayshore Shopping Centre will only require proof of vaccination for services such as theatres, gyms and indoor dining — ones that would require proof outside a mall.
- The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is advising its members not to create their own vaccination policies.