May 18th, 2024

City of Lethbridge mandating COVID vaccinations for all staff


By Trevor Busch LETHBRIDGE HERALD on September 29, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtbusch@lethbridgeherald.com

As the fourth wave of COVID-19 continues to inundate southern Alberta, the City of Lethbridge is moving to a mandatory vaccination policy for all staff.
Announced on Tuesday, unvaccinated City staff will have until Nov. 15 to receive their shots.
“As this pandemic has evolved, we’ve had to make a number of decisions over the course of the last 19-20 months with the safety of our staff and public as a priority,” said City manager Craig Dalton, who spoke to media virtually on Tuesday. “We certainly recognize as we move through this process, that there’s no clear roadmap for how to respond and address public and staff health and safety. And so what we’ve tried to do, is do our best and make the best decisions that we think we could make to ensure staff and public health and safety.”
Dalton confirmed the City’s decision was not arbitrary but was taken to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public remains of paramount concern.
“There are a couple of reasons behind this, first and foremost is continuing to try to ensure that we can take the steps that we can take to look out for the staff and public health and safety. And when we look around at the current state of the pandemic in the province – and certainly in southern Alberta – we think it’s important to do what we can do as an organization to ensure that we move through this in the best and safest way possible.”
The City of Lethbridge joins other municipalities who have also made vaccinations mandatory including the City of Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto. According to a release from the City, Council has been briefed on the administrative policy change and is supportive of the decision.
Originally, the City had announced a mandatory rapid testing program, but the logistics and cost of moving forward with that model have proven too prohibitive.
“Our intent is clearly for staff to comply so we’ll work to that end, and we’ll work with individual staff to hopefully realize that if there are staff who for whatever reason don’t feel they can comply, then we will have conversations with those individual staff members, and there’s a number of steps that we think we can take ranging from working with them to furnish information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and we’ll deal with those cases on a one-off basis,” said Dalton. “The intent of this policy is not to terminate staff; the intent of this policy is to move toward mandatory vaccination and establish a state where all of our staff are vaccinated.”
According to a statement at the media briefing, roughly 95 per cent of city staff are currently fully vaccinated.
Several City departments have already been mandated to become fully vaccinated. Fire and Emergency Services staff are required to be fully vaccinated by October 31 in accordance with Alberta Health Services’ contract requirements. Enmax Centre staff have also been mandated to be fully vaccinated to ensure business continuity, and Lethbridge Airport employees’ direction aligns with federal and airline requirements.

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biff

do you have your papers? ve vill have order!