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RDCK cancels staff COVID vaccination policy

The Regional District of Central Kootenay has rescinded its proof of COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees.

The policy, adopted last November, required staff and volunteer firefighters to provide proof that they were fully vaccinated to work inside any RDCK worksite, including offices, rec centres, and fire halls.

Those unable to or who chose not to provide proof were required to follow more stringent safety measures, including wearing masks indoors at all times.

Chair Aimee Watson noted the provincial government lifted its own proof of vaccination requirements on April 8, so they felt comfortable following suit. RDCK staff consulted a doctor to guide their policy making, she added.

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She did not know how many employees declined to show they were vaccinated.

Employees will continue to wear masks in public and common areas in all RDCK offices and facilities.

Watson said some “sensitive services” such as fire departments could not afford to suffer losses of personnel due to COVID.

“You take folks out of a fire department, you could have a department unable to respond,” she said.  “So there are some critical things to consider. So while we don’t require vaccination showing it, we do still have masking.”

Watson said protecting the health and safety of workers during the pandemic has been “really tricky. It’s quite the dance.”

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