Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government has updated the Guidance for Prioritization of Phase 2 Populations for COVID-19 Vaccination to include construction workers in the “second group of essential workers who cannot work from home”.
The category now includes “workers in manufacturing industries directly involved in supporting the COVID-19 response, construction including infrastructure, and other essential businesses and services where facilities are at heightened risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and spread.”
As a result of the change, all construction workers will have access to COVID-19 vaccines a month earlier than the general public – possibly as early as June.
“The OGCA (Ontario General Contractors Association) has been working closely with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Chief Prevention Officer, as well as employers, other trade associations and unions, to advocate for construction to be included in Phase 2 of the roll-out,” OGCA president Giovanni Cautillo wrote in a newsletter to members.
OGCA has drafted a verification template for vaccinations that employers can use to confirm workers are eligible for the vaccine.
Phase 2 begins next month and will initially be made available to those in what the province calls “primary priority” groups – individuals aged 60 to 79, people with certain health conditions, those living in congregate living settings and high-risk areas, and COVID hot spot communities.
Following that, all essential workers who cannot work from home will become eligible.