North Huron addresses rumours surrounding township, vaccine policy

·3 min read

NORTH HURON – The Township of North Huron released a statement on Oct. 28 to address rumours about their staff threatening a walk-out because of the vaccine policy.

The rumour, which gained traction through a local blog, indicated that most township staff were refusing to disclose their vaccination status and planning a mass walk-out. Reeve Bernie Bailey told the Wingham Advance Times this is “simply not true.”

“There’s no mass walk-out,” Bailey confirmed in a telephone interview.

“He [the blogger] has taken it to a whole new level,” Bailey said, who is growing concerned that the rumours may cause violence.

“As much as I take it with a grain of humour, what he does, at the same time…he’s the kind of guy that causes somebody from, say Toronto, to get a gun and come to Wingham and shoot people, because they truly believe what he writes.”

The statement from the township said, “Contrary to rumours in the community, North Huron would like to clarify that we continue to follow public health, federal and provincial government legislation, mandates, directives, and best practices.

“North Huron accepts responsibility to its employees and stakeholders to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Employees refusing to comply with the Township’s Vaccination Policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment.”

Bailey said North Huron’s number one priority is to “protect individuals in higher-risk indoor settings and to continue to work with and support public health, federal, provincial legislation, mandates and directives to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Added Bailey, “North Huron’s employees, contracted personnel, volunteers and students are strongly recommended to be vaccinated and North Huron is moving forward to educate staff with on the benefits of vaccination.”

The rumour began when Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) changed the letter of instruction for the vaccination policy because their original instructions were unclear.

“As written, the letter of instruction was interpreted to read that facilities were expected to make vaccinations mandatory for facility staff, contractors and/or subcontractors and volunteers,” the statement said. “The revised letter of instruction issued on Oct. 8 clarified that owners and operators of facilities were required to develop and implement a vaccination policy for staff, contractors and/or subcontractors and volunteers.”

North Huron continues to encourage the following public health and workplace safety measures:

- wear a mask in indoor public spaces;

- maintain physical distance (two metres) from those not in your household;

- wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;

- screen every day before going to work, school, or childcare;

- stay home if you are sick, even with mild symptoms;

- get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19; and

- follow gathering limits.

Residents with any questions or seeking more information may contact Carson Lamb, North Huron’s clerk, at 519-357-3550 or email clamb@northhuron.ca.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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