*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — Aug. 24, 2021 — 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 Sept. 9 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting. 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.
“Our No. 1 goal throughout this pandemic 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.
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.” — City Manager Tim Commisso, City of Burlington
MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
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.
- Halton Medical Officer of Health Recommending COVID-19 Workplace Vaccination Policies
- Ontario Releases Regulations & Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy
- Ontario’s Enhanced Vaccine Certificate Program Launches Sept. 22: What Does This Mean for City of Burlington Facilities?
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist