Hundreds of Hamilton’s public education workers don’t get vaccinated or say they are – Hamilton
A number of employees working in Hamilton’s public school system are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or have yet to say whether they have had two injections yet.
The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and Catholic Board (HWCDSB) combined report that about 1,500 staff were not fully immunized as of Thursday.
Of the 7,196 HWDSB employees required to disclose their immunization status, just over 6,000 (84.6%) confirmed that they were fully immunized.
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About eight percent (575 people) revealed that they were not vaccinated, 65 providing a medical reason for not having received the vaccine and 466 unknown due to the lack of an attestation form.
The HWCDSB reports that 3,336 staff said they were fully immunized, while 15 were not for medical reasons. About 5.5 percent (221) report being partially vaccinated while 11 percent (432) have not yet submitted a form.
The province asked local school boards to post attestation numbers on Wednesday after Ontario’s chief medical officer said a disclosure policy would be required for all employees of state-funded school boards, staff in private schools and licensed day care centers.
Under the guidelines, the Ford government mandated disclosure, but left it to councils to deal with exemptions.
HWDSB President Dawn Danko told 900 CHML Hello Hamilton that all staff under their policy – which includes administrators and service providers – were required to submit a formal attestation and identify if they are “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19.
However, there is no process for volunteers and Danko said they will only allow vaccinated participants in schools.
Staff members who are not vaccinated will need to complete a COVID education program and undergo regular rapid tests.
“For any employee who is not fully vaccinated, they would have to go through an exemption process to gain approval,” Danko said.
“If you do not have approval for an exemption under the human rights code, which includes medical, religious, ideological care, you may not be able to access our physical spaces.”
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According to a document obtained by Global News that contained guidelines from the province, staff had until September 7 to submit a formal attestation to their local school boards.
Boards were required by the province to post these numbers by September 15 and update them monthly.
Those who work for the councils but are not employed by them, such as bus drivers, are also required to certify their immunization status.
According to The Canadian Press, Deputy Education Minister Nancy Naylor released a memo to school boards on Monday saying those who are not vaccinated should be tested twice a week, no more than 48 hours before. work.
The note said that there should be three days between tests, which will be done at home, so, for example, the tests should take place on Monday and Thursday or Friday and Tuesday.
Councils have until September 27 to implement the rules, which include an educational video for those who are not vaccinated. They will also have to submit their tests manually or through an app.
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Global News has contacted the ministry to find out who is responsible for paying for tests for those who do not provide answers or do not get vaccinated.
Danko says that at present, the HWDSB does not have an exercise to deal with those who are not vaccinated and refuse to be vaccinated.
“If they still refuse, we will have to take additional action and this could include unpaid leave,” Danko said.
“And if we find out that there is a particular obstacle or that there is a particular problem that we are stuck on, then we will bring it back to the board.”
–With files from The Canadian Press
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