MONTREAL -- With increased vaccination, health-care workers "in certain areas of the network" will also now be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing.

The new order applies to workers in the following environments:

  • Emergencies, with the exception of psychiatric emergencies.
  • Intensive care units, with the exception of intensive psychiatric care.
  • Clinics dedicated to treating COVID-19, including screening, assessment and vaccination clinics.
  • Units where clients with positive COVID-19 diagnoses may be grouped together.
  • Residential, long-term care facilities and other accommodation units.
  • Pneumology units. 

According to a Health Ministry spokesperson, the rule does not apply to administrative staff. 

The new rules states that workers who haven't gotten a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 14 days, as well as those who refuse to provide proof of vaccination, "should undergo recurrent preventative screening," read a release the health ministry.

If a worker refuses screening, "they will be reassigned to similar tasks in a non-target environment or withdrawn without pay if reassignment is not possible."

"Vaccination is currently considered the most effective way to prevent infections, protect healthcare workers and vulnerable users, as well as limit the number of outbreaks as well as their magnitude," read the release. 

The new rules comes into effect as more healthcare system workers have become eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.