N.S. updates vaccine mandate to include correctional services workers, regulated child-care sector

Health officials in Nova Scotia are updating the province's vaccine mandate to include provincial correctional services and the regulated child-care sector.

In a news release on Monday, public health says this includes:

  • correctional officers
  • youth workers
  • staff volunteers
  • visitors
  • contractors
  • service providers who work in, or provide service to, adult or youth correctional facilities
  • early childhood educators and staff in regulated child care, as well as any volunteers
  • practicum students or other professionals entering these settings

"Vaccination is one of the most effective tools in the fight against COVID-19, which is why Giant Steps has mandated vaccinations for our staff," said Donna Buckland, owner and executive director of Giant Steps Children's Centres. "We support the provincial government in expanding this directive to the broader regulated child-care sector."

Employees must show proof of vaccination. If unvaccinated, meaning zero or one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, individuals must participate in a mandatory education program.

Employees have until Nov. 30 to be fully vaccinated.

"Employees who are not fully vaccinated by November 30 will be placed on unpaid administrative leave," wrote public health in a news release. "Government will not provide employers with any additional funding to cover administrative leaves of absence related to vaccine status."

As announced on Sept. 29, the province's vaccine mandate also applies to:

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority and IWK Health Centre
  • workers in long-term care facilities (licensed and unlicensed) and home-care agencies (publicly and privately funded)
  • public school teachers, pre-primary and other school-based staff, regional and board office staff, and those providing services in schools, including cafeteria and school bus services
  • Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia
  • workers in residential facilities and day programs funded by the Department of Community Services Disability Support Program and adult day programs funded by Department of Seniors and Long-Term Care
  • workers in Department of Community Services facilities and those providing placements for children and youth in the care of the Minister of Community Services (excluding foster family placements)
  • paramedics, LifeFlight nurses and some other staff at EHS
  • physicians and other service providers to the above organizations; for example hairdressers and contractors