Kingsville rolling out mandatory vaccination policy for town staff
The Town of Kingsville is moving forward with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for its staff.
Under the new rules, employees have until September 30 to get their first dose while second doses must be completed by October 30.
CAO John Norton says the town will review any cases where staff cannot or refuse to get the shot which could result in termination.
Norton says making the vaccine mandatory was not an easy decision.
"This is a policy that we have struggled with. It's a very difficult decision, perhaps the most difficult decision I've had to make in my tenure in Kingsville, but we landed on bringing forward this policy because of our obligation to care for the health and safety of our employees," Norton said.
Norton says council opted to follow the advice of the medical experts.
"We've received advice from the medical officer of health that we should bring forward a policy and we have landed on a policy that I believe is balanced and fair and reasonable," he continued. "Where possible, we will try to accommodate, but where not possible we may have to take steps to remove that employee."
Norton says the town provides essential services which need to be kept safe and operational.
"We, everyday, are providing services throughout this pandemic over the last year and a half that we cannot refuse to provide. We provide clean water into people's homes. We are sending out firefighters to respond to emergencies and these employees needs to be safe and they need to keep each other safe and they need to keep the public safe."
The town's new vaccination policy does allow for medical or religious exemptions.
The province's vaccine passport program is set to go into effect on September 22, making proof of vaccination mandatory in many public settings.