Durham’s top doc encouraging companies to establish vaccination policies in Whitby and around the Region
Published September 8, 2021 at 9:48 am
Durham Region’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is encouraging local businesses to establish workplace vaccination policies to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Infection numbers have been on the rise in the past month as the fourth wave sweeps through the region and Dr. Robert Kyle says it’s important for companies to encourage vaccinations by creating a “supportive environment” that makes it easier for workers to get the shot.
“Employers have an obligation to maintain a safe work environment for their workers (and) promoting vaccine uptake is important to help reduce COVID-19 workplace outbreaks and build confidence for a safer return to work,” he said. “Vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect workers who work in a location with common areas and/or where workers can have contact with other workers, customers/patrons, or the public.”
Kyle added that the Delta variant is “more contagious, with greater risk for severe illness and hospitalization” and that vaccination provides an “important layer of protection” for workers, their families, and the community.
Kyle said workplace policies should list alternative options for workers who decline to get vaccinated for reasons protected by Ontario’s Human Rights Code, including those unable to complete their vaccination series for medical reasons. Some options to consider include use of additional PPE, frequent COVID-19 testing, worker relocation, and modified work or reassignments.
For companies looking for guidance in establishing a policy, Durham’s Health Department has just the thing: Establishing a Vaccination Policy for your Workplace was created to assist employers to develop policies appropriate for their workers and the workplace.