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COVID-19 Update September 20th – Mandatory Vaccine Policy for All Skills Society Employees

Memo to: People we Support, Families, Guardians, and Skills Society Employees

Re: Prevention and Preparedness Regarding the Novel-Corona Virus (COVID-19)

From: Board Chair of Skills Society, Executive Director and Senior Leadership of Skills Society

September 20th, 2021

Mandatory Vaccine Policy for all Skills Society Employees 

  

Dear Skills Society Family, 

On September 15th, 2021 the Government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency. This unprecedented measure was driven by rapidly rising COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths and the impending collapse of our healthcare system. The Government stated that this 4th COVID wave crisis is being largely driven by unvaccinated Albertans. It then announced a sweeping set of new public health measures in an effort to preserve lives and relieve the pressure in our vulnerable health care system.  

Following the declaration of the public health emergency, the Skills Society Senior Leadership team and the Board of Directors have been working around the clock to review, interpret and apply the new provincial public health measures and consider their implications for our Skills community.  

From the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Skills Society has taken steps to protect both the vulnerable citizens we serve and our employees. On September 16th, the Skills Society Board of Directors made a unanimous decision to implement a Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for all Skills Society employees. The policy becomes effective on September 20th, 2021. Details on the policy and related procedures will be sent to employees shortly.  

The COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy states, in part: 

“Our primary concern is the health, safety, and well-being of the people we serve, our employees and the general public.  

COVID-19 is a serious global health threat that has had devastating impacts on vulnerable individuals, particularly those with pre-existing conditions, who are at greater risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19. 

Federal and Provincial health authorities have indicated that the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada are a safe and effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and the community.”  

Health authorities and the province advise that the best defense against COVID-19 is vaccination. Third doses are also available for immunocompromised Albertans. Appointments may be booked by calling 811, through a participating pharmacy, doctor’s office, or online through Alberta Health Services. 

In addition to this COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccine Policy, Skills Society has previously implemented important safeguards and procedures (e.g. continuous masking, COVID-19 health checklists for staff, enhanced daily cleaning and disinfection, etc.). These will continue to remain in place to safeguard the people we serve, our staff and our community.  

If employees have any questions about the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccine Policy please contact Karen Huta in Human Resources at covidinfo@skillssociety.ca

If the people we support or their families/Guardians have any questions, please be in touch with the Manager associated with your, or your loved one’s, support.  

We thank everyone for your ongoing commitment to work with us to keep your loved ones and our Skills team members safe.  

Sincerely,  

Hart Chapelle, Skills Society Board Chair,  

Ben Weinlick Executive Director, Skills Society  

Senior Leadership Team of Skills Society  

 

Note: What’s happening with COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We become aware of new information from the provincial and federal governments and health authorities sometimes on a daily or hourly basis. We are working hard to be responsive to this new information as it becomes available. Information in this memo may change and quickly become outdated. We will continue to do our best to communicate any new information to the people we support, families, guardians, and staff in a timely manner.