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APPLICATION: All Staff
EFFECTIVE DATE: September 7, 2021
COVID-19 remains a serious health risk in our community. The ongoing spread of COVID-19 within our community means Children’s Village of Ottawa Carleton (“CVOC”) must make every reasonable effort to protect our workplace against the virus, in accordance with our obligations pursuant to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. As we continue to provide in-person services to children, a high-risk population, many of whom are not yet eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we must consider all infection control measures at our disposal to protect our employees, the children in our care, and our community.
COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada are a safe and effective method of protecting individuals against the effects of the COVID-19 virus and are an additional measure for limiting the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. As such, CVOC is implementing a COVID-19 mandatory vaccination and disclosure policy, the details of which are outlined herein, in accordance with the direction of the Ministry of Education.
COVID-19 VACCINATION AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS
As of September 7, 2021, all CVOC staff, whether employees or contractors, including but not limited to, all childcare centre staff, home childcare providers, home childcare visitors, every adult who is ordinarily a resident of the premises or regularly present at a home childcare premises, volunteers, students on educational placements, Special Needs Resources and frequent visitors must provide CVOC with proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
At present, for people vaccinated in Ontario, CVOC will only accept copies of your official vaccination receipt issued by the Ontario Ministry of Health demonstrating two (2) valid doses of a Health Canada approved COVID- 19 vaccine (or one (1) valid dose if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) (as proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. To retrieve your official COVID-19 vaccination receipts, please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccine-booking-support#vaccination-receipts. Proof of full vaccination should be sent to Deborah Thompson, Executive Director CVOC, by no later than September 14, 2021. Staff will also be requested to sign and return a copy of the Attestation included in Appendix “A” to this policy at the time of providing proof of vaccination. Subject to CVOC accommodation obligations, newly hired individuals (whether employee or contractors) will be required to provide proof of vaccination and a signed copy of the Attestation at Appendix “A “prior to commencing employment.
For people vaccinated outside of Ontario, proof of vaccination demonstrating two (2) valid doses of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine (or one (1) valid dose if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) issued by the applicable provincial health authority for the province in which the vaccine was administered will be accepted as proof of vaccination.
CVOC is committed to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment in accordance with Ontario’s Human Rights Code and will accommodate employees who are unable to comply with this policy’s COVID-19 vaccination and vaccination disclosure requirements based on one or more of the protected grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Code up to the point of undue hardship. Individuals seeking accommodation must advise CVOC of the specific prohibited ground of discrimination they believe the COVID-19 vaccination requirement would infringe and participate in the accommodation process, including by providing CVOC with sufficient information and supporting documentation to establish the existence of a protected ground(s), related restrictions, and possible methods of accommodation.
Anyone requesting an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement on medical grounds must, at minimum, provide a documented rationale from a physician or a nurse practitioner. Where the medical reason for the person not being vaccinated is time-limited, the note from the physician/nurse practitioner should specify whether the reason is permanent or time-limited, and if time-limited, the expected duration. Where the medical reason is time limited, upon the expiry of the time limited reason, CVOC will expect the individual to provide proof of vaccination, as outlined herein.
Anyone requesting an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds must, at minimum, provide a documented rationale from a recognized senior faith leader of the religion in question.
To request accommodation in relation to the requirements of this policy, please contact Deborah Thompson.
CVOC is committed to protecting the privacy and security of employee personal information. All personal information reported and collected under this policy will be treated as confidential and will be used or disclosed only for the purposes of administering the policy and for taking reasonable precautions to ensure effective infection control.
Please note that, CVOC is also be required by the Ministry of Education to track and report to the Ministry on the implementation of the policy, provide aggregated and de-personalized statistical information to the Ministry of Education and publicly disclose childcare sector immunization status data on a regular basis. Any information shared with the Ministry will be shared in aggregate form only, without any identifying information.
If a staff member provides proof of a medical reason and/or a Code-related ground for not being vaccinated they will be required to be subjected to regular antigen point of care testing for COVID-19 at least twice weekly in accordance with the directives of the Ministry of Education, and provincial and local public health authorities.
Staff members who undergo such testing will be required to provide CVOC with written verification of a negative test result after each test. Test results are to be provided to Deborah Thompson.
If a staff member receives a positive test result from an antigen test, they will be required to self-isolate, not attend at work, and submit to a laboratory-based PCR test to confirm the test result as soon as possible, and in any event within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the positive antigen test result. Thereafter, the staff member will be required to comply with the direction of local and provincial Public Health Authorities with respect to self-isolation, return to work, etc.
Compliance with this policy is critical to CVOC’s efforts to control the risks of COVID-19 in the workplace and to the protection of the children to whom it provides care. As such, any staff member who fails to provide proof of vaccination and a medical reason for not being vaccinated will be required to complete an educational session approved by CVOC about how COVID-19 vaccines work, vaccine safety the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, the risks of not being vaccinated and the potential side effects of vaccination.
Further, subject to any accommodation obligations of CVOC, any staff member who fails to provide proof of vaccination by September 14, 2021 and who does not provide a medical or Code-related justification for not being vaccinated, 1) will not be permitted to attend the workplace until proof of vaccination is received, and 2) may be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.
Please direct any questions with respect to this policy to Deborah Thompson. CVOC will maintain and revise this policy as required in accordance with applicable legislation, public health guidance, and the evolving conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. CVOC expressly reserves the right to change, modify or delete portions of this policy without notice.