The City of Red Deer has suspended their staff COVID-19 immunization policy. The policy was originally implemented on October 5, 2021, as an added layer of protection to reduce transmission and minimize symptom severity to protect the healthcare system and maintain service levels.

“There has been a shift in the provincial pandemic response over the past several weeks to learning to live with the virus. The decision to suspend our internal policy is reflective of this shift,” said Interim City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “The policy contributed to the safety of our workplaces and lessened the impact of COVID-19 for staff, which resulted in minimal impacts to service delivery over the past five months. The decision to suspend rather than eliminate the policy speaks to our inability to foresee what COVID-19 may hand us in the future; it reserves the ability to re-implement the policy if the hazard level and situation warrants it.”

Since implementing the policy, 92.5 per cent of City staff provided proof of full immunization, the remaining 7.5 per cent chose to provide ongoing proof of negative rapid antigen testing. With the suspension of the policy, the ongoing rapid antigen testing is not required; however, The City will continue to encourage immunization recommendations made by the provincial and federal governments, including booster shots.

As of Monday March 21, City staff will also no longer be required to wear face masks. However, masking will remain a protocol on public transit as part of the provincial requirements. 

Other measures that will remain in place for staff include physical barriers and distancing, limited in-person gatherings for training and meetings, and the requirement to stay home when sick.