City of Toronto, TTC mandate COVID-19 vaccination for its employees, contractors and students

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

All City of Toronto employees will be required to receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 30, Mayor John Tory announced last week, saying the new policy demonstrates “a commitment to taking every precaution to protect staff and visitors in city workplaces.”

Also, all members of the Toronto Public Service will be required to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status by September 13. Those who have not been vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of vaccination and provide proof of first dose no later than September 30.

“This is about ensuring the City of Toronto is doing everything it can to encourage vaccination and protect our workers,” Tory said. “Our end goal is to encourage and persuade people to get vaccinated, if they haven’t already, so our workplaces – which includes many public places – are as safe as possible for them and for the people we serve.

“I encourage all of our employees who aren’t vaccinated and who are eligible to be vaccinated, not to wait. Please do the right thing now and get vaccinated. It will help better protect you, your coworkers, and your loved ones.”

Immediately following Tory’s announcement, the TTC followed suit.

“As of Sept. 13, COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for all TTC employees, contractors and students,” CEO Richard Leary said in a news release. “This is in response to the increase in evidence around the transmissibility of the Delta variant and based on the recent actions taken by the City of Toronto.”

Operational details will be released by the end of August.

Public health guidance demonstrates that vaccines provide a high level of protection against COVID-19 and related variants. Toronto Public Heath recently reported that since May 1, those who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated make up 98.7 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases.

“It is our duty as the largest employer in Toronto to protect our workforce and lead by example as the Toronto Public Service,” said city manager Chris Murray. “Our priority is to provide a safe environment for the city’s employees and service recipients. Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important ways we can protect our community and each other.”

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