City of Barrie's vaccine policy for staff has exemptions, but at a cost

The City of Barrie implemented a vaccine policy requiring its staff to report their vaccine status by Oct. 1, but there are exceptions to the rule.

Early last month, the city announced that city employees in "high-risk" positions would have to get double-vaccinated or face disciplinary action to maintain a safe workplace for staff and residents.

Mayor Jeff Lehman said city staff, such as first responders, would be among those required to get vaccinated.

The mayor also mentioned that anyone working in recreational centres would have to prove they have had both shots.

"They're interacting with potentially hundreds of people every day indoors. Also, obviously, in an environment where they may be physical activity," Lehman said.

Staff who have lower contact with the public aren't required to get the jab, but if unvaccinated, they must undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week.

Each COVID-19 rapid test costs $40 and is at the expense of the employee.

The deadline for city staff to declare their vaccination status was Friday, with the city reporting 91 per cent of its roughly 1,200 employees have shared their immunization standing.

The city is giving employees in higher-risk positions until Oct. 29 to get both shots or face some sort of disciplinary action.