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City of Kelowna announces COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff

The City of Kelowna has announced that every one of its workers will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 13 as a condition of employment.

The City said it decided on the policy after consultation with Interior Health.

Workers with a certified medical condition may be exempt from the policy, alongside those with a religious or human rights-related reason for not being vaccinated.

City Manager Doug Gilchrist said his team “took some time to talk with staff about the rationale and importance of implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy” before announcing the mandate this morning.

<who> Photo credit: City of Kelowna

In its statement about the new policy, the City mentioned similar moves by the likes of Vancouver and Kamloops.

It added: “COVID-19 cases in the Central Okanagan have decreased from their peak in August, but area hospitals continue to see high levels of hospitalizations, critical care cases and fatalities.

“The vaccine does not stop infection or transmission of COVID-19, but it reduces the likelihood of severe illness for those who are vaccinated.”

Mayor Colin Basran said the decision was “administrative,” but added: “It’s something Council and I support as another way we can limit the transmission of the virus among staff and the public.”



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