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City workers will be required to be vaccinated; access to city hall will have tighter COVID19 rules

By Staff

August 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is preparing a COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy applicable to all City staff, regardless of work location.

This policy will require all City staff to show proof of vaccination, and provide reasonable time for staff who are not yet fully vaccinated time to do so, with some exceptions for those who are legally entitled to accommodation.

Rapid Antigen Testing for those City staff not yet vaccinated prior to entry into the workplace will also be required.

An update on this new policy will be brought to the September 9 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting.

City requiring all staff to be vaccinated – even if they are not working at city hall

At that committee meeting, the City will also be looking into a potential vaccine policy for the public entering City facilities to help protect staff and the public.

The health and safety of staff and residents continues to be a top priority for the City.

The City, as an employer, has an obligation under Ontario law to take all necessary precautions to protect its workers. The City will be encouraging contractors and partners of the City to do the same in order to protect our staff, their employees and the public we serve.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward supports the policy and said: “While science continues to support the effectiveness of vaccinations in this pandemic, we can understand there is some apprehension about a required proof of vaccine. It’s important to note this is not a new concept in Canadian society. Proof of vaccination against at least 9 different illnesses such as polio and meningitis has been mandatory for Ontario children attending public elementary school for many years.

“We are already seeing healthcare settings, post-secondary schools, private sector businesses and other municipalities across the country implementing these policies to help protect our communities and our health care capacities. Where there are special circumstances, exemptions are provided.

“Though you can still contract and spread COVID-19 after being vaccinated, we’ve heard from our local medical and health staff the infectious period is shorter and it’s less likely you’ll need hospital care. Currently in Ontario, more than 90% of people in hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.

“The City of Burlington is committed to the health and safety of its staff and visitors from the public who may interact with staff. The City will also be looking at a public policy that will come to Committee and Council in September – I look forward to that discussion with my Council colleagues and hearing from the community.”

City manager, Tim Commisso

City manager, Tim Commisso has had staff develop a policy that will go to Council September 9th. “Our number one goal throughout this pandemic” said Commisso “has been and continues to be focused on keeping all Burlington staff and residents safe while working to stop the spread of COVID-19. Bringing in a vaccination policy for our staff is another step we have taken to meet that goal.

He added: “The City will comply with its human rights and privacy obligations and accommodate employees who are legally entitled to accommodation, while protecting staff. I want to thank our staff for continuing to provide the valued City services to our residents during these trying times.”

 

 

 

 

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4 comments to City workers will be required to be vaccinated; access to city hall will have tighter COVID19 rules

  • David

    How easily we give up our hard won freedoms.

  • Tom Muir

    I too don’t know for the life of me why our political and senior public leaders, with power, just seem unable to get the grave seriousness of this virus into their heads and do something in immediacy, not catch up from behind, or more hospital crisis, or children getting the Delta variant in September and taking it home, and on and on.

    Don’t these people read the news and look at the data? Children get Covid and get sick from it. I read today that 1 in a 100 school age children in the US have been infected. Schools there opened weeks ago – ours opens in 2 weeks. Some get very sick. Duh.

    Our own experts by the score have broadcast that vaccines are not enough to get through the Fall 4th wave. Too many people and children are not vaccinated across Canada (>10 million) and in Ontario (millions). To reach herd immunity we have to vaccinate young children says Public Health Ontario.

    I have reported here repeatedly that the percent of the population vaccinated used to open the economy was biased by excluding various age groups of children – first under 18, and then under 12. Under 12 is not eligible still but that does not remove the bias.

    Opening step 3 requires adults 70-80% one dose and 25% fully vaccinated. This population excludes under 18 kids. Removing the bias makes these numbers 57-65% and 20%.

    Today’s report (August 25) in the Spec says 18+ adults have 83.2 one dose and 76.5 have 2 doses. Removing the bias makes these numbers 67.6% and 62.2%. We need at least 90% of these bias adjusted proportions to get to herd immunity.

    It is said that we can’t close this gap solely based on vaccination in time to avoid a 4th wave of perhaps unprecedented scope. Some experts are quitting to protest a failure to inform the public of this real risk.

    We need the entire toolkit of masking, physical distancing, improved ventilation, vaccinations, hand-washing, testing and isolating. Just one of the measures isn’t enough – but that’s not just vaccines, that’s all the tools in that toolbox.

    So we really need to have everyone get with this program right now to identify and implement every single measure that we can to try to get ahead of the curve, a curve that takes its time showing us it’s exponential growth so don’t get behind and expect control.

  • Penny Hersh

    Once again the City is playing catch up.

    This policy needed to be discussed and voted on prior to the City opening up facilities. On August 28th residents will be registering for programs that are being offered at city facilities that start just after labour day.

    Will participants, instructors and staff be required to wear masks while in the facilities? Rapid Antigen testing is simply not good enough. Vaccination of participants should be necessary as well.

    Would you want to be near someone in a class who was not vaccinated and not wearing a mask?