Nipawin employees now responsible for COVID-19 tests

·2 min read

Nipawin council has ended supplying rapid COVID-19 tests for employees, with the town completing its transitional testing period.

As per the policy that Nipawin council first passed in October, those who disclose their status as unvaccinated, or choose not to disclose their vaccination status, or who are only partially vaccinated, must show acceptable and recognized proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Rapid tests were originally provided by the town for the four week period beginning October 9. This provision was removed by council at its Nov. 8 regular meeting.

“The town, for a period of four weeks, had purchased a number of tests to give people a chance from transitioning from the original Public Health Order back at the end of September,” explained Barry Elliott, Nipawin’s administrator.

“Now that period has passed, so on a go forward basis the town isn’t going to be buying tests for people to use any more. That was a pretty generous effort on the part of council to do that.”

Elliott said that during the transitional period some employees that were yet vaccinated did go out and get it, but there remains a small number of employees that have chosen to go with the testing route for the immediate future.

“Those that haven’t, this opportunity still exists for them to provide that negative test result.”

After the result is obtained, the individual will be responsible for co-ordinating with their supervisor to show them the completed test result prior to entering town office, after which it can be recorded. It must be done prior to the individual entering Town of Nipawin offices or other workplaces.

This policy also applies to members of council, who must show acceptable and recognized proof to the mayor prior to entering town offices or other workplaces.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated and who are obliged to self-isolate due to being deemed a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual, event, or location are not permitted to work from home or to access sick leave benefits while self-isolating.

“That’s a personal choice those individuals made to not be vaccinated and we have a responsibility to ensure sick days are available and be used wisely, that’s part of the rationale,” Elliott said.

If the member of staff contracts COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, they will have access to sick leave.

Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal

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