Municipal staffers line up for jabs

·2 min read

Employees with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent are stepping up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A total of 86 per cent of employees had been fully vaccinated as of last week, with an additional six per cent having received their first or second doses.

According to Corporate Service General Manager Cathy Hoffman, it’s anticipated that 95 of employees will be vaccinated by mid-November.

“We are encouraged by the number of employees who have vaccinated in an effort to do our part and keep one another and those that we serve healthy and safe,” Hoffman said in a media release.

Currently, employees who are not fully vaccinated are required to regularly submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test to attend the worksite.

The municipality adopted a vaccine policy for staff on Oct. 1, with an Oct. 18 deadline.

A different policy mandating the vaccine for council and committee members came into place Oct. 4,

A separate policy for municipal contractors is now being developed by administration.

At the Chatham-Kent Police Service, which has its own policy, 83 per cent of officers were fully vaccinated as of Oct. 22.

Chief Gary Conn said the CKPS has adopted a policy that allows for exemptions under the Ontario Human Rights Code or for underlying medical conditions.

Conn said if a staff member chooses to personally refuse the shot, they will not be suspended or terminated, but they will be obligated to provide a negative test prior to their first day shift or first night shift.

“We believe this mandate is equitable, fair and consistent with the municipality,” Conn said, “which allows everyone a choice.”

Vaccination numbers for the Chatham-Kent Fire Service, which is another separate policy under the municipal umbrella, were not known as of press time.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice

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