Steve Burton has been fired from General Hospital for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine as mandated by the show.

The 51-year old actor shared the news in a video on his Instagram page after fans were speculating about his leave. He filmed his final episode last month.

“I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital. I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” he said in the video. “Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of these were denied, which, you know, hurts.”

Burton continued, “But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anyone should lose their livelihood over this. But with that being said, you know me, I’ll always be grateful for my time at General Hospital, I love it there.”

“Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor,” he ended his monologue, referencing the character he’s played on and off since 1991.

Burton tested positive for COVID before, back in August. He said he was exposed to the virus “at work,” but didn’t specify if it was from the General Hospital set or a different project. He postponed his upcoming comedy club appearances and said in a video at the time he was experiencing “no symptoms.”

His announcement comes nearly two weeks after his former costar Ingo Rademacher parted ways with General Hospital for also not complying with the production’s recent vaccine mandate. His last episode aired on November 22.

General Hospital‘s vaccine mandate includes the actors and all crew who are on set when the actors aren’t wearing masks (called Zone A) went into effect on November 1. Last month, star Nancy Lee Grahn expressed her support for the show’s decision.

“I am very proud to work on the ONLY Daytime Soap that has required performers, staff and crew to be vaccinated,” she wrote on Twitter.

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