The Splatsin Workplace Vaccination Policy has been approved by band council, meaning all employees, contractors, and elected officials will have to provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30.(Canadian Press - file photo)

The Splatsin Workplace Vaccination Policy has been approved by band council, meaning all employees, contractors, and elected officials will have to provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30.(Canadian Press - file photo)

Splatsin council approves vaccination mandate

All employees, elected officials, contractors must have proof of vaccination by Nov. 30

Splatsin near Enderby is requiring all employees contractors, volunteers and elected officials be fully vaccinated.

The Splatsin Workplace Vaccination Policy, which was approved by Tkwamipla7 (Council), requires all employees, contractors, and elected officials to provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30. People who have attested to receiving their first dose by the deadline will have until Dec. 16 to receive their second dose.

As a First Nations government employing more than 80 people, Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian says protecting its community by implementing the policy is “the best defence against COVID-19 and variants.”

“We understand that vaccine confidence can be challenging among community members, and I want to acknowledge the historical reasons and trauma that have contributed to this,” said Christian. “However, it is very important that we work together to protect the community and to ensure that vital member services continue.”

This new policy is in response to the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada, and below-average vaccination rates in the community and the Enderby area at 62.5 per cent and 67 per cent respectively.

Christian added that building on existing health and safety measures, Splatsin has an “inherent responsibility to maintain a safe work environment and implement strong measures to prevent further outbreaks and build confidence in the safety of our workplaces.”

Employees who are unwilling to be vaccinated or are unwilling to attest to their vaccination status will be placed on administrative leave without pay for up to 90 days. Employment will be terminated if the employee has not been fully vaccinated by the end of this leave period.

Accommodations may be made for employees who are unable to be vaccinated for legitimate reasons under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

This new policy is in effect for six months and will be reviewed at that time.

Employees can contact the Splatsin Health Centre to book a vaccination appointment or book online using the Government of BC’s booking system here.

In alignment with public health officials, Splatsin strongly believes in vaccination as the best defence against COVID-19 when paired with other preventative measures including wearing face masks, maintaining a physical distance of six feet, frequent handwashing and sanitizing, and staying home if you’re sick.

If you are a band member experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, stay home and call the Splatsin Health Centre at (250) 838-9538 to speak with a registered nurse.

READ MORE: Vernon institutes vaccination mandate for employees, volunteers

READ MORE: ‘Supporting one another:’ Splatsin to build new housing facility for elders

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