The City of Saskatoon is planning how its employees and future council meetings will return in person in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During a meeting of the governance and priorities committee on Monday, a report on the issue was discussed by teleconference.

Since a resolution was passed in March 2020, city council and committee meetings have been held remotely.

A return to the workplace for city staff had been planned for September 1, 2021, along with in-person council / committee meetings to resume on the same schedule. However, as an increase in COVID-19 cases occurred in the Saskatoon region, the decision was made to postpone the plan.

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The report says that currently COVID-19 numbers have returned to a level where it is safe to return to the workplace. He added that the plan has been determined in consultation with medical health officials at the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Starting Wednesday, December 15, a transition period will go into effect in which staff are encouraged to return to the office either full-time or part-time, according to the report. All staff, except those approved to work permanently from home, will return no later than February 1, 2022.

City Clerk Adam Tittemore said 329 permanent work-from-home applications have already been approved.

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The report proposes that in-person council and committee meetings resume on February 1, 2022; however, support will be available to resume on January 10, 2022, if the council decides to do so.

A mask and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test with 72 hours will be required for council room attendees.

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The committee unanimously approved the motion on Monday.

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