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Trustees Approve Mandatory Vaccination for Staff

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Trustees Approve Mandatory Vaccination for Staff

Hamilton, Ontario – September 13, 2021: Trustees at Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) have approved a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination procedure for all staff, Trustees, service providers and volunteers.

At a Board meeting Monday, September 13, 2021, the notice of motion by Trustee Alex Johnstone directed staff to work collaboratively with Hamilton’s local public health unit, local partners and HWDSB employee groups on a mandatory vaccination measure grounded in education and incentives.

“Keeping schools open has been deemed a priority for children’s learning, mental health and well-being,” Johnstone’s motion read. “It is incumbent upon society to protect children under 12 who are ineligible to be vaccinated at this time and vulnerable populations who are at highest risk of developing complications from COVID-19.”

The motion requires employees, Trustees, service providers and volunteers to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, while adhering to legislated privacy standards. For those not adhering to requirements by a deadline, staff are directed to develop steps such as limiting access to physical HWDSB environments.

On August 17, 2021, the Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced an immunization disclosure policy would be required for all publicly-funded school board employees, staff in private schools and licensed child care settings and other individuals frequently in these settings who may have direct contact with students and/or staff, for the 2021-22 school year.

At HWDSB, all staff were expected to submit a formal attestation and identify if they are “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 (and provide proof of full vaccination) or “unvaccinated.” Staff who are unvaccinated identified the reason for their disclosure status including: medical, human rights, or personal.

At HWDSB, 7,251 permanent and occasional staff are currently working. Of these, 6,614 had disclosed their vaccination status as of September 10. Of the staff reporting, 82.2 per cent are fully vaccinated.

HWDSB staff who are not fully vaccinated can continue to submit their attestation throughout the school year as soon as they meet the definition of “fully vaccinated.’ Until this time, they would participate in rapid testing. All newly hired staff, or staff returning from leave, would provide an attestation where applicable on or before the first day of attending a school board site.

Under the new motion, any employee, Trustee or service provider who has an approved formal exemption and is not vaccinated will be accommodated and required to complete regular asymptomatic rapid testing and demonstrate a negative test, as per the recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

See more about enhanced public health measures at HWDSB online.

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Media Contact:

Shawn McKillop, APR

Manager of Communications and Community Engagement

Cell: 905-515-6227 | smckillo@hwdsb.on.ca

Updated on Monday, September 13, 2021.
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