On Vaccines, Mandates, Workplaces, and Screenings
It’s September, which means the start of the school year, the end of summer, and, as difficult as it might be to admit, a growing fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, arts and culture organizations are trying to plan and make decisions about rehearsals and events as September typically marks the beginning of a ‘new season.’
The Ontario government has announced that, as of September 22, proof of vaccination will be required to enter a number of categories of facilities, including concert venues and theatres.
Locally, Peterborough Public Health (PPH) is formally recommending that all Peterborough workplaces implement mandatory vaccine policies.
With all this new information coming in, we once again wanted to provide some updates from our friend Keith Beecroft, PPH Health Promoter, Family & Community Health, who has some information for the arts sector about the new PPH recommendation, vaccines, and more:
1. Formal Recommendation: Workplace Vaccine Polices Strongly Recommended by Peterborough Public Health.
In an effort to save lives, reduce illness, and keep the economy strong, Peterborough Public Health (PPH) is formally recommending that all workplaces in the City and County of Peterborough develop (or enhance) their workplace policies to require all employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless otherwise medically exempt.
- Press release detailing the announcement
- Letter of recommendation from Dr. Salvaterra to all workplaces
- Website and tool kit to help you create an effective COVID-19 vaccine policy for your workplace (please take some time to review these resources – the website has all of the tools you need to create an effective workplace policy and will answer many of your questions)
This Letter of Recommendation is not to be confused with the provincial ‘passport’ system that will be launched shortly – it is complimentary but different. As soon as we know more about the provincial system, we will send the info your way, until then, these are the resources we refer to:
- Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination in Select Settings – September 01, 2021 (news release)
- New Requirement for Proof of Vaccination in Certain Settings: Frequently Asked Questions (frequently asked questions)
As of September 14, the Minister of Health has released more information about the incoming mandatory vaccine policy. Petebrorough Public Health will have more information about this in the coming days, but for now, here are the details that were just released:
- Proof of Vaccination Guidance for Businesses and Organizations under the Reopening Ontario Act (gov.on.ca) (Guidance document from the province)
- O. Reg. 645/21: RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP (ontario.ca) (Regulatory amendments/leagalese that will come into force under O. Reg. 364/20)
- Ontario Releasing Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy (Ministry of Health press release)
- Using your Vaccination Receipt: Frequently Asked Questions
2. A number of COVID-19 screening tools and documents have been updated.
- Self-Assessment Tool
- School and Child Care Screening Tool
- Customer Screening Tool
- Worker and Employee Screening Tool
- COVID-19 Signage Questions for Businesses and Organizations
Please ensure you are using current daily screening tools for your staff, patrons, and guests.
3. The vaccine works and is safe. If you haven’t yet, please book your first or second dose.
Highlights from the data:
“Unvaccinated cases accounted for the majority (95.2%) of COVID-19 cases reported since December 14, 2020 and up to August 7, 2021, with breakthrough cases accounted for only 0.6% (Figure 4).”
“Similar trends are observed for hospitalizations and deaths, with unvaccinated cases accounting for 92.5% of hospitalizations and 92.1% of deaths and breakthrough cases accounting for 0.8% of hospitalizations and 1.2% of deaths (Figure 4).”
“In the past 30 days, unvaccinated adults 60 years of age or older were approximately 14.2 times more likely to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 compared to fully vaccinated adults 60 years of age and older (Figure 5).”
This page lays out Ontario COVID-19 data nicely.
4. Self-Isolation vs. Self-Monitoring.
You’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 – now what? (This document details scenarios for people that are vaccinated and unvaccinated, in the event of a COVID exposure).
As the nights get colder, and days get shorter it could be easy to become discouraged – especially as news of the pandemic is unrelenting at times. Please have a look at these resources as COVID impacts not just our physical health, but mental health too. (On that note, now would be a great time to head outdoors and admire the ever-changing landscape the Kawarthas has to offer this time of year … after you create a workplace policy for COVID vaccination, that is!) 😊
With continued thanks,
Please stay well and let us know how we can help.
TRACK THE IMPACT.
As always, keep checking the EC3 Facebook page, @ECThreePtbo on Twitter, @ec3ptbo on Instagram, and the COVID-19 Updates page on EC3’s website, where we are providing daily updates on programs and services available for ACH workers and organizations.
Be safe, stay healthy, and please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Su Ditta and the EC3 Board and staff