City of Kelowna introduces vaccination policy for staff

City of Kelowna

All City of Kelowna staff will need to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 13 as a condition of employment.

In consultation with Interior Health, it was determined a workplace vaccination policy is best to protect workers and the public against the COVID-19 transmission.

“Before announcing the policy today, we took some time to talk with staff about the rationale and importance of implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy,” said City Manager Doug Gilchrist.

A growing number of municipalities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Kamloops and the Capital Regional District have recently outlined vaccination requirements for employees. 

“It’s an administrative decision to require staff to be vaccinated,” said Mayor Colin Basran, “but it’s something Council and I support as another way we can limit the transmission of the virus among staff and the public.”

COVID-19 cases in the Central Okanagan have decreased from their peak in August, but area hospitals continue to see high levels of hospitalizations, critical care cases and fatalities.

The vaccine does not stop infection or transmission of COVID-19, but it reduces the likelihood of severe illness for those who are vaccinated.

Employees with a certified medical condition, religious or other protected human rights ground for not being vaccinated may be eligible for accommodation.