City of Toronto, TTC to require staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

Aug 19 2021, 3:05 pm

The City of Toronto will require its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the fall.

Mayor John Tory revealed the measure on Thursday, noting that the policy will help to protect staff and residents who visit City workplaces.

“This is about ensuring the City – your municipal government, funded with your tax dollars – 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.”

City staff must disclose their vaccination status and provide proof of immunization by September 13.

Those who are not immunized or choose not to disclose their vaccination status will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of vaccination, the City said.

They will then have until September 30 to provide proof of their first dose. As of October 30, all workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The City said it would comply with its human rights obligations and “accommodate employees who are legally entitled to accommodation.”

“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.

The City’s agencies and corporations are encouraged to follow suit with their own mandatory vaccination policies.

Following the announcement from the City, TTC CEO Rick Leary said COVID-19 vaccines would be mandatory for all TTC employees, contractors, and students as of September 13.

“The TTC has been a leader throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to safety and has already taken numerous steps to keep the system clean and safe,” Leary said.

“This is one more thing we can do for ourselves and each other to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, said the policy is a “key action” that employers can take to keep the city safe.

“The evidence is clear that vaccines work to protect people from becoming infected with COVID-19, acquiring more serious infections, and to save lives,”  de Villa said.

“Getting fully vaccinated is the best way to reduce virus spread and our risk of COVID-19 and its more transmissible variants.”

According to Toronto Public Health, 98.7% of hospitalized COVID-19 cases since May 1 have been in unvaccinated or partly vaccinated individuals.

As of August 18, there have been 172,498 COVID-19 cases and 3,617 virus-related deaths in Toronto.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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