Starting today, Jan. 14, City of Vernon staff are required to have proof of full vaccination.
The city implemented its proof of vaccination policy on Nov. 10, 2021, giving staff slightly more than two months to adhere to the policy.
As of Friday, more than 94 per cent of employees have met the city’s vaccination requirements. Employees who are unvaccinated or have chosen to withhold their vaccination status have been put on an unpaid leave of absence.
Going forward, the city says it will work directly with employees who are placed on leave as a result of the policy. They will be able to return to work if they choose to receive full vaccination and provide proof “in a reasonable amount of time.”
“We do not want to see anyone leave our organization. However, we also have a duty to provide a safe environment and take appropriate steps to protect all city employees, those who enter city facilities, and ensure the ability to maintain essential services,” said Will Pearce, chief administrative officer.
The policy applies to all city employees and volunteers engaged in supporting municipal services.
“This is a vicious virus and medical authorities have been clear that vaccination is the scientifically established best means to fight the pandemic. Therefore, this policy is a vital addition to the other layers of protection we have in place to protect all of us against COVID-19,” Pearce continued.
The city will continue to put business continuity plans in place to monitor staff levels and make daily adjustments to maintain services throughout the pandemic.