Alberta not considering mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for certain jobs 'at this time'

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An Alberta Health spokesperson told Global News on Tuesday that the province was not currently considering making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for certain workers.

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On Tuesday, Quebec announced health-care workers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1.

The mandate will apply to any health-care worker who enters into contact with patients for more than 15 minutes at a time, including nurses, doctors and ambulance workers, and it will apply to both private sector and public sector employees, Health Minister Christian Dube said.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said Tuesday that employers in health and education will be required to ask workers about their vaccination status and that those who aren’t fully vaccinated, or who don’t have a documented medical exemption, will need to take an education session and be subject to regular tests.

Dr. Kieran Moore said that directive takes effect on Sept. 7, covering hospitals, ambulance services and community and home-care service providers. It will be similar to one already in place in long-term care homes, and mirrors staff policies introduced by some hospitals.

“Alberta is not considering mandatory vaccine mandates at this time,” Alberta Health spokesperson Lisa Glover said.

“Albertans are encouraged to continue to sign up for both first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to ensure long-term protection.

“Employers wishing to require that employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment are encouraged to seek legal guidance in implementing this policy,” Glover said.

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When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, 76.9 per cent of Albertans 12 and older have received at least one dose and 68 per cent have received two doses.

The number of Albertans in hospital and ICU with COVID-19 continued to rise Tuesday, along with the active case rate.

There were 5,627 active COVID-19 cases across Alberta as of Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, there were 176 people in hospital, 44 of whom were being treated in intensive care, up from 161 in hospital and 43 in ICU on Monday.

“Of the 44 in ICU, 88.6 per cent are unvaccinated and 4.5 per cent partially vaccinated,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted.

Three COVID-19-related deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the last 24 hours, bringing the provincial death toll to 2,336.

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Alberta confirmed 407 new cases in the last 24 hours out of about 5,500 tests.

The province’s positivity rate sat at about 7.4 per cent on Tuesday, a slight decrease from the 7.5 per cent reported on Monday.

With files from Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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