A new COVID-19 vaccination policy for the Peterborough Police Service came into effect last Thursday.
On Thursday, the service outlined the policy, which “strongly recommends” that all members get vaccinated against COVID-19. Members have until November 19 to provide proof of vaccination or have received a medical exemption. The policy includes sworn, civil and auxiliary service members and staff who work from home.
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Staff who are not vaccinated, or did not qualify for a medical exemption and / or chose not to be fully vaccinated, must provide proof of a rapid antigen test on the first and third days of their shift schedule. Tests cannot be taken more than 24 hours before a shift.
The test will also apply to overtime shifts and attendance at training sessions on rest days.
The tests will be necessary starting Nov. 20, the service said.
If a member tests positive for COVID-19, they will follow all public health guidelines, including self-isolation for 14 days, and provide proof of a negative test before returning to work.
the politics notes that non-compliance could mean that a member is “subject to disciplinary action” under the Police Services Act, but details were not available in the policy posted online. Global News has requested more details.
If a rapid antigen test result is not provided, a staff member could be sent home without pay. They will not be allowed to use sick time or flex time.
All other current health guidelines, such as the use of personal protective equipment, remain in effect until the Chief of Police, or his designee, indicates otherwise.
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“Our mission is to protect the communities we serve, and this policy shows residents and members that the Peterborough Police Service is committed to doing our part,” said Chief Scott Gilbert.
The service says members will also need to participate in an educational program run by the City of Peterborough that includes learning components on how COVID-19 vaccines work, the benefits of vaccination, and the risks of not getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
The police service says the policy was developed in coordination and consultation with its occupational health and safety committee, the Peterborough Police Association, the Senior Officers Association, Peterborough Public Health, the City of Peterborough, legal advisers and others. police services.
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