HALIFAX — Officials in Nova Scotia say more than 1,000 public sector workers are now on unpaid leave after failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the government’s Nov. 30 deadline.
The province announced today that 963 of the 70,537 workers in frontline health care, continuing care, education and corrections are on unpaid leave because they failed to report their vaccination status or they remain unvaccinated.
The figure for the civil service is 93 out of a total of 10,434 employees, meaning 1,056 provincial workers in total are now on leave.
In the health sector, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, which oversees most of the province's hospitals, has lost 323 workers, the IWK Health Centre in Halifax has lost 29 and long-term care facilities have seen a combined 179 employees placed on leave.
Meanwhile, officials reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 and 34 recoveries.
The province now has 199 active confirmed cases of the disease, including 13 people in hospital and five in intensive care.
Under the province's vaccine mandate, employees had have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 30, with a requirement to show proof of full vaccination eight to 10 weeks later.
Premier Tim Houston said the relatively few workers who didn't get vaccinated or report their vaccination status "made their choice."
"It's unfortunate they are no longer in the workplace, but I'm glad they won't be putting patients, students, seniors and other vulnerable people at risk," said Houston.
The premier said he is proud of the 99 per cent of public sector workers who have at least one dose of vaccine and the 97 per cent who are fully vaccinated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
The Canadian Press