COVID 19 Vaccination Policy

Purpose:

The purpose of this policy is to outline Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville’s (CMHLG)  requirements regarding COVID-19 immunization. 

Policy:

CMHLG has a duty to ensure a safe workplace for staff, contractors, volunteers and students, and a safe environment for clients using our services. We take this responsibility seriously and take every reasonable precaution to keep our staff, volunteers, students, and clients, reasonably safe.  

All staff, contractors, external service providers, volunteers, and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to appropriate exemptions from vaccination as may be required by the Human Rights Code. 

At a minimum, this policy will be reviewed annually. This policy was developed following all relevant Ministry and Health directives in effect at the time of development. The policy will continually be updated to reflect changing Ministry and/or medical directives. 

Definitions:

COVID-19: COVID-19 is an acute respiratory illness caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. It can result in fever, cough, shortness of breath and a number of other symptoms. 

Full Vaccination: Individuals will be deemed to have been fully vaccinated if they have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada (e.g. two doses of a two-dose vaccine series, two doses of an approved mixed vaccine series, or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series) and 14 days have elapsed from the final dose.  

Unvaccinated: Individuals will be deemed unvaccinated if they are not fully vaccinated or fail to disclose their vaccination status. 

Human Rights Code: The Human Rights Code as amended from time to time. 

Antigen Testing: Antigen based tests approved by Health Canada for use in detecting the presence of the COVID-19 virus. 

Procedures:

Staff, students, contractors and Volunteers: 

Proof of Vaccination 

All staff, students, contractors and volunteers are required to provide proof of vaccination status no later than November 5, 2021 by submitting a copy of their vaccine receipt from the Ministry of Health for each dose received.  

All staff, students, contractors and volunteers who have not received any Covid-19 vaccine by November 1, 2021 shall disclose this to Human Resources by November 5, 2021. Individuals will be deemed unvaccinated if they are not fully vaccinated or fail to disclose their vaccination status. 

Accommodation 

Staff, students and volunteers who are not able to vaccinate because of the protected grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Code must provide sufficient documentation to establish the   connection between the protected ground and the inability to be vaccinated. 

Where the protected ground is disability, a medical note must be provided by either a Physician or Nurse   Practitioner that sets out: 

  • a. confirmation that the person has a disability (but not necessarily the nature of the disability or the diagnosis) sufficient to establish that the disability is consistent with the Ontario Ministry of Health document issued on September 14, 2021; 
  • b. confirmation that the person cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to the disability; and 
  • c. the effective time period for which the disability will prevent vaccination. 

Staff, students or volunteers who can demonstrate a legitimate Code based reason for not being vaccinated will be accommodated, in which case, other health and safety measures may be implemented. It is incumbent on such staff members or volunteers to participate in meaningful discussions about accommodation and provide information as may be required. 

How to Access a Personal Vaccination Record 

After vaccination, individuals with an Ontario photo health card can log in to the provincial portal to download or print an electronic COVID-19 vaccine receipt (PDF) for each dose received. https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca/ 

Confidentiality 

All information pertaining to vaccination status and any request for accommodation will be treated as confidential. All collection, use and disclosure of such information will be limited to the purpose of implementing this policy. The information will be kept in a secure location within the Human Resources Department. 

Failure to Provide Proof of Vaccination Status 

Staff, students, contractors and volunteers who fail to provide proof of their vaccination status will be considered to be unvaccinated for the purposes of this Policy, and subject to the actions outlined in the policy. 

Staff who remain unvaccinated beyond January 15, 2022, and who are not being accommodated under the Human Rights Code, will be placed on an unpaid Leave. Volunteers, contractors and students who remain unvaccinated will be suspended.  

Antigen Testing: 

Non-vaccinated staff, students and volunteers 

Staff, students and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated, will be required to complete Antigen Testing, at a frequency of twice weekly prior to the start of the workday Monday and Wednesday, beginning the week of November 8, 2021.   

The weekly requirement applies to all individuals regardless if they are attending on-site that week (e.g. if working exclusively remotely the testing would apply). 

Antigen testing is required to be completed by an external provider such as a pharmacy. If staff, students and volunteers are not accommodated under the Human Rights Code testing will be at the expense of the individual (time; test costs; mileage).  For those with a relevant accommodation, the cost of the antigen test, one hour of work time and up to 60 kilometers mileage will be at the expense of the agency. 

Proof of a negative test will be required before entering the workplace to either the Director or Manager on Call. 

Individuals who have received a final dose of a two-dose vaccine series within the last 14 days will also be required to undertake Antigen Testing until the 14 days have elapsed. 

Positive Antigen Test: 

A positive result on a rapid antigen test is considered a preliminary or presumptive positive. Anyone who receives a positive result must: 

  • Advise their Director or Manager on Call 
  • Not attend a work site in person 
  • Follow the direction of the Lanark, Leeds Grenville Health Unit or Primary Care Provider

Educational Program 

All CMHLG staff and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021 will be required to complete the Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) education regarding vaccinations. The educational program addresses all of the following learning components: 

  • How COVID-19 vaccines work; 
  • Vaccine safety related to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines; 
  • Benefits of vaccination against COVID-19; 
  • Risks of not being vaccinated against COVID-19; and 
  • Possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccination. 

Completion of this e-learning for unvaccinated staff and volunteers is mandatory, and failure to complete the e-learning by November 12, 2021 may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or cessation of volunteer contract. 

Support for Vaccination 

In the case that a staff member is unable to attend a vaccination appointment outside of scheduled work hours, CMHLG will allow the staff member one hour during paid work hours at mutually agreeable times. 

New Hires 

All staff hired on or after October 21, 2021 will be required, as a condition of employment, to provide proof of the following: 

  • full vaccination and any additional vaccination requirements that may arise or 
  • If unable to vaccinate, evidence of the need for accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code.  

Students, External Service Providers, volunteers and Contractors 

Educational institutions, external service providers, volunteers and contractors will be advised of the COVID-19 Immunization Policy. All students, volunteers, external service providers and contractors will be required to provide proof of vaccination or accommodation (pursuant to the Human Rights Code). 

Client Requests of Staff Regarding Vaccination Status 

The personal health information of all staff, students and volunteers is confidential. Staff are not obliged to disclose to clients if they are fully vaccinated. Clients can be informed of this policy and the safety protocols that are in place. 

In the event that a client declines service due to a staff member either not disclosing their vaccination status or advises a client they are under an accommodation the Director will be notified by the staff member. The Director will assist in making alternate arrangements which could include such things as reassignment or virtual services. 

Staff Requests of Client Regarding Vaccination Status 

Staff, students and volunteers will not inquire if clients have been fully vaccinated nor will the staff, student or volunteer withdraw service should the client inform the staff, student or volunteer of their vaccination status. Staff, students and volunteers will exercise all safety protocols.  

Confirmation of External Service Provider Vaccinations 

The Covid 19 Vaccination Policy will be available on the website for External Providers’ reference.  

Travel Outside of Ontario 

Staff, students, volunteers who travel outside of Ontario will follow the relevant Ministry or Public Health directives in effect at the time.  

Children’s Mental Health of Leeds and Grenville is a Canadian Registered Charity BN#896698495RR0001