N.W.T. gov't to pay COVID-19 tests of its unvaccinated workers

·2 min read
A nurse gets ready to perform a COVID-19 test at a clinic. The government of the Northwest Territories said it will pay for and provide self-administered tests to all employees who do not provide proof of full vaccination by Nov. 30. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A nurse gets ready to perform a COVID-19 test at a clinic. The government of the Northwest Territories said it will pay for and provide self-administered tests to all employees who do not provide proof of full vaccination by Nov. 30. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit)

The government of the Northwest Territories released new details to its employees about its vaccination policy, which kicks in next week.

In a memo to employees, the government said it will pay for and provide self-administered tests to all employees who do not provide proof of full vaccination by Nov. 30.

This comes after a period of uncertainty when it was not clear who would be paying for the tests, what type of test would be required, how employees would get them and how often employees who aren't fully vaccinated will need to get tested.

The government's policy states that those who do not provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30, "will be required to wear personal protective equipment in the workplace and undergo regular testing for COVID-19 until they have provided proof of full vaccination."

But when the testing regime will begin for those without proof of vaccination is a still a bit murky.

"Given the realities of test kit procurement and logistical challenges in distributing kits to remote communities, the GNWT will implement testing requirements community-by-community," according to the memo. No uniform date has been provided for when a first negative test will be due.

Similar policies will be in place for future employees.

"Departments and agencies will include requirements for COVID-19 immunization in all job postings, and will require all new hired employees to provide proof of full vaccination on or before their start date. New hire employees who do not provide proof of vaccination before their start date will be subject to departmental or agency-specific PPE (personal protectove equipment) use and COVID-19 testing requirements until they provide proof of vaccination," the memo states.

The government of the N.W.T. said accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for medical reasons or based on protected grounds under the Human Rights Act.

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