LETHBRIDGE, AB- It appears the vast majority of City of Lethbridge employees have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
A mandatory vaccine policy was put in place back on Sept. 28 which gave staff until Nov. 15 to comply.
That deadline has now come and gone.
General Manager of People and Culture, Jason Elliott, says as of Monday, 95 percent of City employees had reported their status with 96-percent of them saying they were fully vaccinated or in the process of it.
He says “in the process of being fully vaccinated” includes those who are partially vaccinated with only a first dose as well as anyone who has received a second dose but two weeks hasn’t yet passed since their final shot.
When the numbers are broken down further, Elliott says 94.3 percent of Lethbridge Fire and EMS employees had reported their status with 97.5 percent saying they are fully vaccinated or in the process of it.
As for the Lethbridge Police Service, 96.5 percent had reported their vaccination status, with 92.3 percent reporting they are fully vaccinated or in the process.
Now that the deadline has passed, Elliott says those who are not vaccinated will have to provide a negative rapid test prior to each shift. The exception to that rule would be Fire and EMS staff who are mandated by Alberta Health Services to be fully dosed. Staff who are affected by the AHS contract have until Nov. 30 to comply.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, Elliott says there is no timeline in sight for when the City’s rapid testing requirement would come to an end.
He says the City continues to work with those employees who are not vaccinated, adding four employees have voluntarily resigned due to the vaccine mandate but there have been no terminations.