Whitby joins list of Durham communities requiring vaccines for staff

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Published September 15, 2021 at 10:35 am

Halton Region Medical Officer Dr. Hamidah Meghani Dr. said in order to avoid a lockdown in the fall, vaccination needs to accelerate substantially. CDC PHOTO FROM PEXELS

Whitby council unanimously voted to mandate full vaccinations for its municipal workers on Monday.

The town has now been added to a growing list of Durham communities requiring mandatory vaccines. Pickering and Ajax have already confirmed their mandate, while Oshawa continues to consider its approach.

“It’s basically reinforcing the staff’s position,” said Councillor Chris Leahy, “In the pandemic we’re trying to reassure the residents that everyone that comes in that all staff are vaccinated.”

Leahy doesn’t yet know if this mandate will apply to Whitby residents using city facilities. “We’ve left it open-ended. We have to figure out what the provincial regulations are.”

Since the Ontario governments’ announcement yesterday that in-store shopping will be exempt from the vaccine passport system, Leahy expects Whitby to follow suit.

Another question hanging in the air is enforcement. Whitby council is unsure what repercussions will be for employees who refuse to get vaccinated. Leahy says the vast majority of staff are already vaccinated.

The mandate will come into effect September 22 when the provincial plan begins.

 

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