Sudbury

City of Greater Sudbury to require employees to be fully vaccinated

City of Greater Sudbury employees will need to disclose their vaccination status by the end of this month and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.

City employees will need to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15

City of Greater Sudbury employees who qualify for a COVID-19 vaccination exemption will be required to undergo regular rapid antigen testing and ensure adequate infection and prevention control measures. (City of Greater Sudbury)

City of Greater Sudbury employees will need to disclose their vaccination status by the end of this month and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.

The northern Ontario city's vaccination policy, which it unveiled Wednesday, applies to city employees, volunteers, students and members of council.

"Since this pandemic began more than 18 months ago, the city has followed all public health advice and implemented measures to protect the well-being of our employees and our community," Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger said in a news release. "This policy is the next step in that approach, and aligns us with many other private and public-sector organizations. We know that vaccination is our best defence against COVID-19, and it's a vital step in protecting our employees, their loved ones and our community as a whole."

The city said in a release it will allow for valid Human Rights Code-based exemptions for medical or religious reasons, following application and approval with the appropriate documentation.

Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger says vaccination is the best defence against COVID-19. (Roger Corriveau/CBC)

Employees who qualify for an exemption will be required to undergo regular rapid antigen testing and ensure adequate infection and prevention control measures.

The city said employees who do not have an approved accommodation plan, and are not fully vaccinated by the required date, may request options for leave in accordance with current policies and collective bargaining agreements. "There is a provision for progressive discipline for employees who fail to comply with the requirements of the policy," the press release said.

Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported there were 52 active COVID-19 cases in Greater Sudbury and the surrounding districts on Sept. 15, an increase of five cases compared to the previous day. 

"With the ongoing concerns over the fourth wave and variants of concern, we continue to face unique and considerable risks associated with this unprecedented pandemic," Ed Archer, City of Greater Sudbury chief administrative officer, said in a news release. "We have made, and will continue to make, decisions that support a safe workplace and protect everyone in this community."

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