COVID-19 VACCINATION POLICY FOR STAFF
At Camp Ramah in Canada (the “Camp”), we are committed to providing and maintaining a safe camp environment for all. Consistent with this commitment, the Camp has established this Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (the “Policy”) for Counsellors and Camp Staff for the 2022 camp summer. The Policy requires that, in accordance with the terms set forth below, all persons subject to this Policy (as defined in Scope, below) be vaccinated for COVID-19 or obtain an approved accommodation or exemption.
The Camp has established this Policy, considering reliable scientific evidence, government guidance and protocols, its Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) requirements and relevant human rights legislation along with comparable information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Camp has obligations under the OHSA to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of a worker.
The objective underlying this Policy is to provide a healthy and safe Camp environment for campers, counsellors and staff, and safeguard the broader communities in which they live.
Safe and reliable vaccines are an important tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19, build immunity in Ontario and protect our communities.
The COVID-19 Science Advisory Table reports that as of February 28, 2022, 99.7 percent of the new cases in the province are the Omicron variant. It stated that the Omicron variant is far more transmissible than other variants of COVID-19, including the Alpha and Delta variants. Medical experts warn that unvaccinated populations remain most vulnerable.
Scientists confirm that COVID-19 continues to spread in the province and we can expect future variants of concern and future waves. In the U.S. and U.K., infectious disease experts are reporting an even more contagious version of the Omicron variant. The virus known as BA.2. is a strain of the highly contagious Omicron variant that appears to spread even more rapidly, about 40 to 50 percent more rapidly.
Dr. Kieran Moore, the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, has confirmed that vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19. Keeping youth in camp to the fullest extent possible is critical to their development and well-being. The protection of campers and staff in camp from COVID-19 disease enhances the protection of other community members by reducing the risk of disease transmission during an outbreak.
As a Camp, we have a heightened responsibility to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our staff, campers and their families. As the majority of roles at the Camp involve close contact with campers and staff members, the Camp has determined that vaccinations of staff are mandatory, with certain accommodations or exemptions, as set out in this Policy.
This Policy applies to all staff of the Camp (i.e. full-time and part-time), except where the individual works remotely and the individual’s work does not involve in-person interactions. This includes camp administrators, full-time and part-time counsellors, administrative staff, contractors and other individuals who frequently attend the camp, student practitioners, and volunteers.
All staff of the Camp must be fully vaccinated by June 1, 2022. “Fully vaccinated” for our staff over 18 years old means two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine and a booster, followed by a 14 day waiting period. It is the responsibility of the staff member to ensure there is sufficient time to receive the booster dose of the vaccine by June 1, 2022.
After June 1, 2022, subject to relevant accommodations or exemptions, any staff member joining the Camp must be fully vaccinated prior to their first day of work.
Additional doses of the vaccine may become mandatory for all Camp employees in future, in accordance with the recommendations of public health in response to changing public health circumstances.
Staff members who fail to comply with the terms set out in this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from their employment.
PROOF OF VACCINATION
Once a staff member has been fully vaccinated, they are required to provide proof of vaccination to the Camp. This must be provided prior to June 1, 2022, or for new staff members, prior to their first day of employment. Proof can be in the form of a copy of the proof of vaccination given at the time of receiving vaccination, or a letter from a medical practitioner, confirming the staff member has been vaccinated.
The Camp recognizes its responsibilities and duties under provincial human rights legislation, such as the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”). If a staff member is unable to be vaccinated, due to a protected ground, as defined by the Code, the Camp has a duty to accommodate to a point of undue hardship.
However, this duty to accommodate must be balanced against the Camp’s obligations to protect the health and safety of staff and students. Due to the serious health threat COVID-19 presents to the public, if a staff member will not be vaccinated because of a protected ground under the Code, they must provide an appropriate medical exemption.
A staff member who is requesting an exemption from this Policy must provide the Camp with written proof of a medical reason, provided by a physician or registered nurse in the extended class that sets out (i) a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and (ii) the effective time-period for the medical reason.
This letter must be provided to the Camp prior to June 1, 2022. If the staff member begins after June 1, 2022, this letter must be provided to the Camp prior to their first day of employment.