Edmonton mandates vaccination for metropolis employees

EDMONTON — The City of Edmonton will require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-November.

“The health and safety of Edmonton employees and residents is our top priority. We believe this is the right decision for our workforce, the right decision to protect our community and the right decision for the healthcare system,” City Manager Andre Corbould said in a statement.

The announcement follows the city’s immunization disclosure policy, which it put in place to better understand how many employees have been vaccinated.

The city noted that as of September 13, 86 percent of employees had responded, and of those, 72 percent of employees reported being fully vaccinated.

“From the information provided by our employees, it is clear that we need the additional control measure of vaccination in our workplaces to minimize the serious risk of COVID-19,” Corbould said. “We believe that the vaccination policy, along with all our other controls, will provide some level of comfort and security.”

Physical distancing, capacity limitations, pre-shift screening and indoor mask use are also essential in the COVID-19 response and will continue in city workplaces.

City officials added that employees must receive one dose by September 30 and two doses by October 31, which they say will ensure employees are fully vaccinated by November 15.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated by this date will be required to complete ongoing rapid COVID-19 antigen testing up to twice a week at their own expense. And if they don’t register for the test, they’ll be given an unpaid leave of absence.

The city said it will accommodate those employees who need an exemption from this policy based on a protected legal reason, such as medical or religious reasons.

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