Whitby finalizing staff vaccination policy that will allow opt-outs with “regular” testing

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Published August 27, 2021 at 1:15 pm

The Town of Whitby is working on a mandatory vaccination policy for its employees, although it appears staff may be able to avoid getting vaccinated if they agree to regular testing.

The policy, which the Town says they are in the process of finalizing, would require employees to demonstrate proof of full vaccination or regular rapid antigen testing, “among other things.”

More details will be made available as the policy is finalized.

The City of Pickering finalized its mandatory vaccination policy earlier this week with no provisions for staff to avoid vaccination with regular testing.

“Under Ontario law, the Town has an obligation to take all necessary precautions to protect its staff. Since the start of the pandemic our number one priority has been, and will continue to be, the health and safety of our staff and our residents,” said Whitby Chief Administrative Officer Matt Gaskell. “I also want to stress that the Town will comply with the Ontario Human Rights code and accommodate staff that require legitimate legal accommodation.”

Whitby said in a news release it will be working “in concert with a number of partner municipalities” in Durham Region to implement a consistent approach towards mandatory vaccinations, vaccine education, rapid testing and the consideration of bona fide accommodation requirements.

“Vaccines are critical to protecting against the spread and risks of COVID-19 and its variants of concern. Over the course of the pandemic we have been quick to take action and respond to this rapidly changing environment,” said Mayor Don Mitchell. “This is one more thing we can do to protect the health of our staff and our residents.”

Photo Frank Gunn Canadian Press

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