Clarence-Rockland council approved a new policy on vaccination and COVID-19 safety during its September 8 regular session. The policy was originally scheduled for discussion and recommendation during the later committee of the whole session but council members all agreed to move the policy forward to the regular session for review and approval.
The new policy follows the provincial public health safety guidelines for licenses daycare facilities set up during the pandemic. The municpal policy requires that staff at the city’s daycare setups have either full vaccination against COVID-19 or else undergo regular "rapid antigen testing" on at least a weekly basis to determine whether or not they have contracted COVID-19.
Council gave unanimous support to an amendment to the policy that will have the city cover the cost of the antigen testing for those daycare employees who, for various reasons, are not able to get vaccinated.
Those who have a medical reason for not being vaccinated must provide a document signed by a doctor or a registered nurse stating the reason for not being vaccinated. Individuals who, because of their religious beliefs or other philosophical or ethical creed, must also provide a documented proof for their exemption from vaccination to the city’s human resources department.
The department should also receive notices when individuals have to go for antigen testing, whether it is during regular work hours or after hours. The policy states that no one who has to undergo antigen testing will be able to do so whenever the appointment time is available and without loss of pay.
All daycare staff will follow masking and personal hygiene demands while on duty, whether or not they are vaccinated. Staff will also tell their supervisor if they are experiencing any symptoms that may indicated COVID-19.