The City of Kamloops has changed parts of its vaccination policy in step with the province lifting the COVID-19 vaccine card mandate.
City CAO David Trawin told Castanet Kamloops 72-hour COVID-19 testing is no longer required for unvaccinated municipal employees. The change took effect on April 8.
“As of the eighth — that’s when the province basically said you no longer need the [vaccine] passports and things like that — we’ve said OK, in that case, we will stop testing as of the eighth. So as of Friday, we have stopped testing employees,” Trawin said.
“At this time, we’ve still said new employees still need to be vaccinated. We're still reviewing that.”
The city’s vaccine policy has been in effect since last fall.
Under the policy, city employees had to declare their vaccination status as of Dec. 15, with unvaccinated staff required to undergo regular rapid testing for COVID-19.
Contractors and volunteers in direct contact with city staffers were also required to be vaccinated.
Trawin said these measures have now been waived.
“Any restriction that we have for volunteers and contractors as of April 8, that does not apply either,” he said.
The city’s vaccine policy also stated that employees hired after Oct. 31 must be fully vaccinated. Trawin said this is the only portion of the vaccine policy still in place, and the city will continue to assess the measure.
Trawin said this part of the policy hasn’t presented any hiring issues for the city.
“I’ve talked to HR and they’ve said it hasn't been an issue," he said.
"No new employee that we've looked at hiring has not been vaccinated. So it hasn't even been an issue so far.”
January’s Omicron wave resulted in high absentee rates at the city. Trawin said the city is still seeing some employees off sick with COVID-19, but the number of sick calls have trended downwards.
“It's not affecting our ability to provide services,” Trawin said.