Effective March 10 at 4:00 p.m., Alberta Health Services (AHS) will no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or regular rapid testing of its current workers.
Alberta joins other provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec in lifting vaccination or testing mandates for workers. At the direction of the Minister of Health, AHS will amend the organization’s Immunization of Workers for COVID-19 Policy, effective March 10 at 4:00 p.m.
The vast majority of Alberta Health Services staff are fully vaccinated – 97.7 per cent of AHS full and part-time employees and 99.8 per cent of physicians. This means that AHS sites have strong vaccine protection in place for staff and the patients they care for.
“AHS’ immunization policy was implemented to protect patients, workers and the public earlier in the pandemic,” Jason Copping, Minister of Health said. “However, we are now in a different stage of our response and the overwhelming majority of our health-care workforce understands the importance of getting vaccinated. We need to make sure that every health-care worker who is available to work, can, which is why we are lifting this mandate.”
Current workers (as defined under the policy) that are unvaccinated and on a leave of absence will be able to return to work after March 10 at 4:00 p.m. A return to work will be worked out between workers and their workplace leaders.
AHS will continue to assess staffing and work with those who choose not to get immunized to address their concerns, answer their questions and educate them about the importance of immunization and vaccine safety and effectiveness.