Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health strongly recommending that area employers develop and implement COVID-19 vaccination policies and support workplace vaccinationIssued: Monday, August 30, 2021
As Ontario and the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts enter the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is dominated by the more transmissible and dangerous Delta variant, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, is strongly recommending that employers put vaccination policies in place to protect their employees and the public from COVID-19.
To support workplaces in adopting this recommendation, Public Health is distributing its Workplace Vaccine Policy Toolkit to all area employers and persons responsible for businesses to strengthen their COVID-19 workplace protection. The toolkit includes, for example, a policy template and educational materials such as videos, posters, and fact sheets.
“We owe an immense debt of gratitude to all of the workplaces who have dedicated themselves to following individual protective and public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their workplace and our communities,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “We are aiming high so we can stay low. More than 90% of eligible individuals need to be vaccinated so we can keep COVID-19 cases low. Workplaces are an essential part of the vaccination solution. To be very clear, workplace practices and policies are critical to encourage vaccine uptake among employees—protecting clients, customers, and livelihoods.”
Public Health is also leading by example by implementing its own COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff, students, contractors, and volunteers. “As a workplace, it’s our responsibility to take every precaution reasonable to protect our workers and the public,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
Public Health has developed a policy template to help guide workplaces as they craft their own COVID-19 vaccination policies. Each organization is encouraged to evaluate risks associated with COVID-19 in their workplaces as they develop their own vaccination policy. For instance, the Public Health Sudbury & Districts policy requires all employees, contractors, volunteers and students to provide proof of one of the following:
- COVID-19 vaccination
- a medical reason for a vaccine exemption
- completion of an approved educational program
Policies must be developed in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, Occupational Health and Safety Act and any other applicable legislation. Information about a person’s vaccine status is personal health information and must be collected in compliance with privacy legislation including the Personal Health Information Protection Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Employers, as well as community organizations, community leaders, faith leaders, or event coordinators, can contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts to discuss the possibility of having COVID-19 vaccinations offered on site.
For more information or if you have questions, please visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).