The Town of Gravenhurst has implemented its COVID-19 vaccination policy.

The approved policy covers town employees, contractors, volunteers, students, members of council, and council-appointed committee members. They will need to be vaccinated by November 15th.

If any employee is not in compliance they will face “progressive discipline up to and including termination.” That will include having to complete an educational program and get tested at a yet-to-be-determined interval at their own expense. 

So long as they continue getting tested, the town’s Manager of Human Resources Elaine Harkiss-Laird told council the employee would not face any discipline.

The policy does allow for employees to get medically exempted from getting inoculated. If deemed exempt, the employee will still have to get tested every 48 hours before arriving at work. They would get reimbursed by the town, unlike those who aren’t exempt.

It goes into effect on November 1st.

Councillor Terry Pilger was the only person to not vote in favour of the policy.

“Employees in various town operations may have additional requirements under government directives, regulations, orders and/or legislation based on their specific roles and responsibilities,” it says in the report from staff.

“We believe the majority of our staff has been vaccinated,” Harkiss-Laird said, adding they haven’t surveyed staff on their vaccination status, so an exact number isn’t known. She said “some” aren’t, but wasn’t sure if that was out of choice or if they’re medically exempt.

Going forward, the report says it will be a “condition of employment” that potential new staff members be vaccinated.

The decision follows both the District of Muskoka and Huntsville not mandating vaccinations for their staff, instead forcing unvaccinated staffers to get tested every 48 hours. Both councils were open to the possibility of revisiting the policy if deemed necessary.