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Niagara Region Public Health recommends workplaces continue vaccination policies as Ontario reopens

As Ontario drops many of its COVID-19 public health measures contained in the Reopening Ontario Act, Niagara Region Public Health remains mindful that there is still very high transmission of COVID-19 in the community, and that the risk of infection will grow as social activity increases.
 
Public Health advises residents and businesses to make individual choices to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19. In particular, while not a requirement under provincial legislation or local orders, Public Health strongly recommends that organizations maintain proof-of-vaccination and employee vaccination policies.
 
As Niagara enters a new phase of the pandemic, keeping ourselves safe will heavily depend on the actions of individuals and organizations. Niagara Region Public Health strongly supports those employers who are opting to continue proof-of-vaccination requirements for patrons, as well as mandatory vaccination policies for staff. These organizations are demonstrating their ongoing commitment to the health and safety of their customers, employees and community.
 
Further, in order to align proof-of-vaccination requirements with the current science on vaccinations, Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji has called on the provincial government to incorporate booster doses into their proof-of-vaccination QR code system. This will allow those businesses who continue to opt for this protective measure to provide the best possible protection to their customers and employees. Similarly, Public Health recommends that organizations strengthen their workplace vaccination polices by adding a booster dose requirement at 4-7 months after the second dose.
 
While some may feel the risks of COVID-19 are acceptable to them, we should remember that many in our community may still be at greater risk, or have loved ones at greater risk, and wish to continue to practice greater precaution. Let’s support each other in making individual choices around COVID-19 safety, including:
  • Recognizing that many will feel places with proof-of-vaccination will be critical to their or their loved one’s safety, and supporting businesses who offer this protection
  • Respecting that some may not yet feel comfortable without physical distancing or other precautions in place, and doing our best to accommodate those requests
  • Continuing to encourage others in our community to get vaccinated
 
Getting ourselves and our loved ones vaccinated against COVID-19 has never been more important. While we can’t always wear a mask or keep distance from others, we can always have the protection the vaccine offers. The more in our community that get vaccinated and get their booster, the more likely it is that we’ll avoid a repeat of the difficult measures of the past two months, and the more we’ll keep ourselves and those around us safe.
 
Niagara Region Public Health is hosting clinics in a variety of locations in Niagara. Please visit our clinic schedule webpage for full details.
 
For organizations that are continuing proof of vaccination or workplace vaccination polices, Public Health, as always, encourages designing them with the involvement of legal and labour relations experts.

Quotes

"While COVID-19 hospitalizations are decreasing for the moment, the pandemic has not been defeated and we can expect more surges of infection in the coming months. Maintaining common sense precautions like vaccination, masking, staying home if sick, and vaccination policies will keep us safe through future waves. I applaud the many organizations who are continuing with proof-of-vaccination and strongly recommend the maintenance of workplace vaccination polices."
~ Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health

Media Inquiries

Courtney Westerhof
Niagara Region
905-688-8248 ext. 7303
courtney.westerhof@niagararegion.ca


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