Vaccine mandate not required for municipal staff: Warden

ANTIGONISH: The warden of the Municipality of the County of Antigonish says they’re following provincial requirements around COVID-19 and a vaccination mandate for staff isn’t required, at this point in time.

“As a municipality, we’re encouraging everyone to get their vaccinations, and having conversations with our staff at this point,” Warden Owen McCarron told reporters. “We’re certainly following public health rules. Throughout the course of the pandemic we’ve followed public health through the last 19 months, and we feel it’s important we get to the other side of this as soon as possible.”

McCarron made the comments following the municipality’s regular monthly council meeting on Oct. 12.

Unlike their municipal counterparts in Inverness, which is undertaking an anonymous survey of the vaccination status of their staff, McCarron suggested it hasn’t really been an issue for them.

“Folks, I think, generally understand the importance of vaccines and keeping the workplace safe,” he said. “And making sure the public coming into the facility, that they feel safe as well.”

As for adhering to the compliance of the new proof of vaccination requirement now that the province has entered Phase 5 of their re-opening plan, from talking with people throughout the municipality, the warden suggests people are getting comfortable with it.

“A lot of people have it on their phones or have it on their person with their license. At first, people had to think about it before they went out,” McCarron said. “But it’s been a very respectful transition between them and some of the places they go into in terms of actually showing proof of vaccination.”

For the most part it’s been going pretty good here, he said, and he thinks the community has adapted very well over the past 19 months through all the different phases.

“It’s no shock to me that the community continues to adapt and does quite well,” McCarron said. “So far, I’m not hearing anything too sinister.”