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Actor Steve Burton says he was let go from 'General Hospital' over COVID vaccine refusal

Burton played Jason Morgan on the CBS soap. His departure follows that of fellow cast member Ingo Rademacher, who was reportedly also let go for the same thing.

Steve Burton of ABC's "General Hospital" says he was let go from the long-running daytime drama for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. His departure follows that of fellow cast member Ingo Rademacher, who was reportedly also let go for the same reason. 

"I know there's been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and 'General Hospital' and I wanted you to hear it from me personally," Burton said in a video posted to his Instagram page. "Unfortunately, 'General Hospital' has let me go because (of) the vaccine mandate."

Burton said he had applied for both a religious and a medical exemption, but "both of those were denied." He said he doesn't know when his last episode airs. 

Burton has played the character Jason Morgan on the show since the early 90s. He said if 'General Hospital' lifts its vaccine requirement, he would "return and finish (his) career as Jason Morgan." 

RELATED: Appeals court upholds stay of employer vaccine-or-test mandate, calling it 'overbroad'

Variety reports that the "General Hospital" vaccine mandate, which applies to actors and crew members who are on set when actors aren't wearing masks, went into effect on Nov. 1. In August, Burton said he had tested positive for COVID-19 after being "exposed at work."

RELATED: How COVID shots for kids help prevent dangerous new variants

NBC News confirmed that Burton was fired for refusing to follow the vaccine mandate, and that his last day of filming was Oct. 27. 

Rademacher’s "General Hospital" character Jasper “Jax” Jacks already said his goodbyes on the show's Monday episode. Jacks tells his ex-wife Carly that he's "leaving town" for his native Australia, Deadline reports. According to Deadline, Rademacher's departure followed vocal opposition to the show's vaccine mandate. 

Burton's character was declared missing after a tunnel collapsed on him in Friday's episode.