County of Wellington employees must disclose COVID-19 vaccination status by Sept. 22

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All employees working for the County of Wellington will need to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status before the end of this month.

A news release from the county said they need to know employees' vaccination status by Sept. 22. Anyone who isn't fully vaccinated will need to undergo regular rapid COVID-19 testing starting on Oct. 23. County officials said those employees may need to pay for the test, subject to "applicable laws and reasonable practices."

“Public Health data shows that the Delta variant poses a significant risk to those who are unvaccinated, including children under the age of 12,” Warden Kelly Linton said in the news release. “With the rising cases of COVID-19 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and across the province, the County has decided that we must do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our employees and the public we proudly serve.”

In June, the county announced a mandatory vaccination policy for all new employees across all departments. Officials said that policy will remain in place "for the foreseeable future."

“Vaccinations are the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect people from the effects of the virus,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, the region's medical officer of health. “I encourage everyone who can to get a first and second shot as soon as possible. I applaud Wellington County for taking this significant step to protect their employees and those who live in the County, particularly our children who are not yet eligible for a vaccine."

As of Sept. 9, 85.2 per cent of eligible Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph residents have received at least one dose, and 79.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.