HURON COUNTY – County councillors voted on Oct. 6 that all employees of the County of Huron must disclose their vaccination status by Nov. 1, 2021.
County council, boards, committees of council, students, volunteers, and contractors while performing County of Huron business or duties must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a medical exemption from a doctor or risk disciplinary action.
Employees who choose not to disclose their vaccination status will be considered to be unvaccinated for the purposes of the policy.
Unvaccinated employees will be required to undergo regular rapid antigen testing until they are considered fully immunized. In addition, they must participate in mandatory training on the benefits of vaccination by Nov. 12, 2021.
The vaccination policy states “if an employee has chosen not to be vaccinated, without an exemption as noted, the county may require that the employee pays for each rapid antigen test. Costs of the test will be determined by the County of Huron, acting reasonably and using best efforts to minimize the cost and subject to any applicable laws and reasonable practices. The county reserves the right to require rapid antigen testing of any employee at any time.”
Employees who are required to be tested will not be reimbursed for their time or mileage to go and get the test.
The county will waive the cost of the rapid antigen test for those who provide an approved medical exemption. The medical information submitted to the county’s safety and wellness supervisor will be retained in a confidential file.
All requests for a creed-based accommodation will require written proof of a creed-based reason that set out at least the following:
• a statement of the employee’s overarching beliefs; and
• the specific tenet or belief that is contrary to receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
Unless a legislated or regulatory exemption applies, all County of Huron employees are expected and required to comply with applicable health and safety measures to reduce the hazard of COVID-19, including but not limited to compliance with established workplace controls, such as daily screening, mandatory masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.
In developing this policy, the county is committed to ensuring compliance with all applicable public health guidelines, occupational health and safety legislation, human rights, privacy, and other relevant legislation.
The County of Huron remains committed to providing reasonable accommodations to employees who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical exemption or other prohibited grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times