City of Winnipeg to require COVID-19 vaccines for front-line staff

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The City of Winnipeg will be requiring COVID-19 vaccines for front-line employees.

The city said the requirement will be for those who have contact with vulnerable Winnipeggers, including children under 12.

"The requirement will extend to a number of employees including those working in public safety, community protection, recreation services, public transportation, and public-facing customer service roles," the city said in a release.

Staff will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15, 2021, with the city saying staff will need their first dose by Sept. 30 and their second no later than Oct. 28.

Michael Jack, the CAO for Winnipeg, said work is being done to have mobile vaccine clinics for employees who have been unable to be vaccinated.

"We are continuing to explore options for staff who are not vaccinated, that will include frequent COVID-19 testing or possible redeployment to roles that will not require contact with the public," said Jack.

He added that exemptions will be made on a case-by-case basis and said the need to provide service to the people of Winnipeg is paramount.

"We are not prepared to jeopardize that for a workplace policy."

Vaccine information will start being collected next week. Jack noted this is not information the city has previously collected and it needs to know how many are vaccinated to work on further steps.

The CAO said councillors do not fall under the category of city employees, noting they are elected officials and therefore they will not be affected by this vaccine mandate.