BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody and the Brockton emergency measures group met Tuesday morning to sort out details connected with vaccine passports.
Faced with a looming fourth wave and the need for more people in Ontario to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the province recently announced plans for a vaccine passport that will come into effect Sept. 22.
It’s similar to the system in Quebec. People will be required to show proof of vaccination (two doses, that most recent at least 14 days earlier) to get into certain places including restaurants and sports facilities.
Peabody explained the Brockton group will be discussing “how the municipality can meet the passport mandate.”
He said Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health for Grey-Bruce, has suggested an employee vaccination policy for the municipality.
Also discussed was how to implement the province’s mandate as it applies to recreation facilities. Peabody said, “The big thing is restaurants, but we’ll be just as impacted.”
He noted that while eligible participants have to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31 according to OMHA rules, things are less clear-cut for families of players and spectators who wish to attend games.
Both items will be coming before council at the next regular meeting.
Peabody stressed that with the return of students to classes, and the start of fall activities, it’s important for people to get vaccinated.
While students are well protected, with COVID-19 protocols in place and assurances classrooms are well-ventilated, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has proved to be hard to stop, especially among groups where fewer people are vaccinated.
Recently, the number of people getting vaccinated has fallen, especially among younger people.
“We need to pick things up in Grey-Bruce,” said the mayor. “We’ve fallen below the provincial average – we’re down to around 25th in the province. We have to address that.”
In other news, Brockton continues to enjoy a growth spurt, in both residential building and new businesses. Peabody was pleased to congratulate the owners of two new Brockton businesses recently in Cargill and Walkerton, and looks forward to more in the near future.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times