Burlington mandating full COVID-19 vaccines for city staff, no more negative testing option allowed


Published January 7, 2022 at 1:51 pm

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The City of Burlington has changed their stance on COVID-19 vaccines and will now make them mandatory for all staff and employees.

The change eliminates the option for staff to provide negative tests on a regular basis in lieu of a vaccine.

“A mandatory vaccination policy at the city is one more step we can take to protect our staff and our residents, and ensure we can continue to safely provide the services our residents depend on,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“This action is especially important as we deal with the highly transmissible Omicron variant. I am truly grateful to our staff and our community members who have already taken steps to get vaccinated and are following all other health measures to keep themselves and those around them healthy and safe. We will get through this together.”

The mandatory policy, which is effective immediately, applies to all staff and any new individuals being hired by the City.

Employees will be required to submit their proof of vaccination by April 1. A previous COVID-19 vaccination mandate put in place for the fire department will require all fire staff to submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 by March 1.

The City will comply with its human rights obligations and accommodate employees who are legally entitled to accommodation.

The City of Burlington first introduced a COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Policy in August. The policy required all City employees to show proof of vaccination by Oct. 1, 2021 and included a Rapid Antigen Testing option for those staff not yet vaccinated prior to entering a City workplace.

Under the revised mandated policy, the definition of “fully vaccinated” is an individual who has received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It does not include booster shots at this time.

Staff who do not comply with the updated policy may be subject to progressive disciplinary measures including termination.

“The situation with COVID-Omicron variant is dynamic and continues to evolve quickly,” said Tim Commisso, City Manager.

“Over the last 21 months, with the support of Council, the City’s leadership team has continually implemented and revised policies and practices to help reduce the impact of the pandemic. The need to revise our Staff Vaccination Policy to now make it mandatory is totally aligned with our number one goal of protecting the health and safety of Burlington residents and staff.”

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