EDMONTON — The City of Edmonton will require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by mid-November.
“The health and safety of employees and Edmontonians is our top priority. We believe this is the right decision for our workforce, the right decision for protecting our community and the right decision for the health care system,” said City Manager Andre Corbould in a statement.
The announcement comes on the heels of the city’s vaccination disclosure policy which it introduced to better understand how many employees had been vaccinated.
The city found as of Sept. 13, 86 per cent of employees responded and of those, 72 per cent of employees indicated they were fully vaccinated.
“Information provided by our staff tells us that we need the additional control measure of vaccinations in our workplaces to minimize the serious hazard of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible,” said Corbould. “We believe the vaccination policy, along with all of our other controls, will provide a level of comfort and certainty.”
Physical distancing, capacity limits, pre-shift screening and indoor mask use are also essential in the response to COVID-19 and will continue at city workplaces.
City officials added employees will need to have one dose by Sept. 30 and two doses by Oct. 31 which they noted will ensure employees are fully vaccinated by Nov. 15.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated by that date will need to comply with ongoing COVID-19 rapid antigen testing up to twice per week at their own cost. And If they do not register for testing they will be placed on a leave without pay.
The city said it will accommodate those employees who require an exemption from this policy on the basis of a protected legal ground, such as for medical or religious reasons.