Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

COVID-19 vaccination mandated for City of Kelowna employees

City staff must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 13 to keep their jobs

All City of Kelowna employees will need to get their COVID-19 jabs before Dec. 13 if they want to keep working for the city.

The city announced on Friday, Oct. 22, that full vaccination will be required for its staff members.

The move comes after the city consulted Interior Health (IH), determining a workplace vaccination policy is the best way to protect staff from COVID-19 transmission.

“Before announcing the policy today, we took some time to talk with staff about the rationale and importance of implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy,” Kelowna city manager Doug Gilchrist said.

Kelowna follows other municipalities that have outlined mandatory vaccinations for employees including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Kamloops and the Capital Regional District.

“It’s an administrative decision to require staff to be vaccinated, but it’s something council and I support as another way we can limit the transmission of the virus among staff and the public,” Mayor Colin Basran said.

The city said that employees with a medical condition, religious or other protected rights may be eligible for vaccination accommodation.

COVID-19 cases in the Central Okanagan have continued their downward trend, but area hospitals are still seeing patients, critical care cases and fatalities, largely from people who are unvaccinated.

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twila.amato@blackpress.ca

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